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^iV^r^^ ^ 




Thirty-two Full-page Illustrations, 

vo LU M E xj^XV-' V-:;=':\.-'-* ■ •• ■ 
'•" ''.•■**•!•'■;'.• '•■';.";•'.• 
1907- ''• •.••:x'.:-.'' ■ 



A a RighU rtservid. 



'* X 

t i 




R 1909 L 

Vrinted by BtBAirORWATa k 8ow«, Tower Street, Oambridpre Oireui, W.C. 




By 'FusBOS.* 


By Clifford Cordley. 


By H. J. Barker. 


By A. F. Meyrick. 


By * Snaffle.' 


By F. INSKIP Harrison. 


By Tim Whiffler. 


By * RocKWOOD,* 

NO. 222 39 

By A. Briscoe. 


By Miss M. V. Wynter. 


By Edwin L. Arnold. 


. By Fox Russell. 


By Barnes Poole. 


By Harold Macfarlane. 


By Finch Mason. 


By F. iNSKiP Harrison. 

SPURIOUS SPORT -, : i\ V . 82 

i?y 'Dragoon.' . '- '- .* 

By Clifford C'^r^Vf.y. v'-'.\-' ' .-' -: 
MORE LEAVES FROM AN OLD SKETck.BQpk..': -''.^ [ .V- . 96 

By Finch Mason. , .-' .-. 
HUNTING IN SCOTLAND . . . . -. -V- V.' . . 102 

By * Snaffle.' '- .-" 


By A. F. Meyrick. 


By F. B. Cooke. 


By Miss Lilian E. Bland. 


By R. A. Boucher-Giles. 


By C. M, Greswell and M, V, Wynter* 

vi Contents. 



By F. G. L. 


By 'Snaffle.* 


By F. Inskip Harrison. 


By Clifford Cordley. 


By Finch Mason. 


By Miss M. V. Wynter. 


By Cuthbert Bradley. 


By J. R. Roberts. 


By * Marshman.* 


By F. B. Cooke. 


By Miss L. Bland. 


By F. G. L. 

By G. H. J ALLAN d. 


By C. C. 

By 'John 0*Gaunt. 


By * Snaffle.' 

A MATCjIJ^. 248 

• •V ,••/.. By Clifford Cordley. 


••, ^ /* ; / By *East Sussex.' 

HUNTERS-'/ /,, •':•'*'.;., 260 

;.*/..••-/;••.•/ . ^}^'M. V. Wynter. 

A YAyKXtS'iiW'tiiQ^^ 269 

*.'. •*•/.* %^ •' By 'Dragoon.' 


*•*/ By 'Footpad.' 


By G. H. J ALL AND. 

By J. R. Roberts. 


By F. Inskip Harrison. 

By Miss Lilian Bland. 
NOTES ON NOVELTIES 74, 227, 303 


To face page 




•HANDS UP' 40 















•ORMONDE' 168 



viii List of Illustrations. 

To fate PAGE 








WELL' 302 



By * FUSBOS.' 

\ LL students of Turf History will, I fancy, be of the 
same opinion as the compiler of this article, viz., 
that, in popular favouritism, the mares, by virtue of 
their performances, have more than held their own 
^1 through the piece. 

Take, for instance, the famous Beeswing, who won the 
Doncaster Cup no fewer than four times, viz., in 1837, 1840, 
1 84 1, and 1842, setting a seal on her fame by carrying off the 
Ascot Cup in the year last mentioned. 

Another great favourite with the public of that period was 
Inheritress, by The Sadler — Executrix, the property of Mr. James 
Meiklam, whose career was an extraordinary one, if only judged 
by the length of time — eight years in all — she was kept in training, 
and the number of races, including the Northumberland Plate 
and the Liverpool Summer Cup of 1845 and 1847 respectively, 
won by her during that period, of which the following is the 
numerical list: — 

2 years i I 5 years ^ 14 

4 M 4 I " » 7 

7 years 9 

The only mare of more recent years we can call to mind as 
liaving rivalled her was Lilian, belonging to the late Mr. Henry 
Savile, who could account for six years* good work on the 
turf, her victories including the Brighton Cup of 1874, with 
*9 St on her back, and the Ebor Handicap of 1876, carrying 
7 St 1 1 lbs. 

2 Heroines of the Turf. 

Then we find Alice Hawthorn, another popular idol, winning^ 
the Chester Cup of 1842, the Doncaster Cup in 1843 ^"c^ 1844,. 
and the Gold Vase at Ascot and the Goodwood Cup in the 
last-named year. 

That Crucifix, winner of the Criterion and Chesterfield 
Stakes at Newmarket in 1839, and the Two Thousand, One 
Thousand, and Oaks of 1840, left behind an undying reputation^ 
is proved by the fact that, even in these days, should a filly 
more than make her mark on the turf, she is immediately^ 
hailed by the sporting press as the 'Modern Crucifix,' such 
being the greatest compliment they can pay her. 

Another equally celebrated mare was Virago, by Pyrrhus 
the First — Virginia, foaled in 185 1. 

Bred by Mr. Stephenson, and sent to the hammer as a 
yearling, she at once attracted the attention of John Scott^ 
who bid up to 340 guineas, when he retired in favour of Mr. 
Henry Padwick, who sprang another tenner, and secured her. 

Tried when a two-year-old with the four-year-old Little 
Hurry, in receipt of only 7 lbs., William Day, who rode her, 
was so impressed with the filly's performance, that he ofTcred. 
2000 guineas for her there and then, a bid which was increased 
to 3000 before returning to the trainer's house, but all to no 

As a three-year-old, Virago won the One Thousand Guineas,. 
Oaks, and the Doncaster Cup in 1854, but perhaps her most 
memorable performance was her dual victory in the City and 
Suburban and Great Metropolitan, both of which races at that 
time were run on the same day, a feat unprecedented in the 
annals of the turf. 

After Doncaster, Virago turned roarer and went all to pieces. 
At Ascot, however, the following year, she managed to run into 
fourth place for the Hunt Cup. 

This proved to be her last appearance on the turf, for^ 
breaking down shortly after, she was forthwith sent to the 

Needless to say, all Yorkshire was on, to a man, woman, 
and child, whatever may have been the case in other quarters, 
when Blink Bonny won the Derby and Oaks for Mr. FAnson 
in 1857, and who cannot easily picture to themselves the scene 
of wiW enthusiasm amongst honest Geordie and his brother 
pitmen when another pride of the North, in the shape of the 
famous Caller Ou, carried the green jacket and yellow belt and 

Heroines of the Turf . 3 

•^p first past the post for the second year in succession in the 
Northumberland Plate of 1864. 

After Blink Bonn/s sensational victory the colts had it all 
their own way in the Derby until 1882, when Shotover, whom 
Tom Cannon had previously steered to victory in the Two 
Thousand, won for the Duke of Westminster his second Blue 
Riband of the turf. Here her career may be said to have ended, 
for, as a four-year-old, she turned out an utter failure, and, so 
far as our memory serves us, never won another race. 

Beeswing, the property of Squire Heathcote, Lord Rosebery's 
predecessor at The Durdans, who won the Liverpool and 
Chester Cups in 1866 and 1867 respectively, though her victories 
-were not so numerous as those of her more famous namesake, 
may, we think, be fairly classified as a public favourite. Had 
she flourished nowadays, the chances are her name would have 
figured on the race-card as Beeswing II., an addition we hold 
to be as unnecessary as it is inharmonious. The French mare^ 
Fille de TAir, who won the Oaks in 1864, made a consider^ 
able name for herself, if only on account of the riot that occurred 
after her victory in the race in question, when she and Arthur 
Edwards had to be escorted back to the weighing-room by a 
strong body of prize-fighters, who, in view of the mare's defeat 
in the Qne Thousand, when backed for pounds, shillings, and 
pence by the public, had been specially laid on for the occasion 
in anticipation of a scene. 

Regalia, who won the Oaks the following year, was un- 
doubtedly above the average, and, but for having the misfortune 
to be foaled in the same year as Gladiateur, would have won 
the L^er into the bargain. 

Achievement was undoubtedly a great public favourite, and 
her defeat in the Oaks by Hippia was a bitter pill to swallow* 
How^ later on, she redeemed her character by winning the 
L^er, is matter of history. Rarely, if ever, in the history of 
turf nomenclature has a more appropriate name beei;! found for 
a racehorse than Formosa, for a more beautiful mare than th^ 
chestnut daughter of Buccaneer we never beheld, and that she 
was as good as she was beautiful was amply proved by her dead 
heat with Moslem in the Two Thousand Guineas of 1868 and 
her subsequent victories in the One Thousand, Oaks, and 
L^er. On this last occasion she was ridden by Tom Chaloner, 
Fordham having been on her back on the other three occasions* . 

To harbour in his stable a colt capable of winning the Derby 

4 Heroines of the Turf. 

Is generally considered good enough for most men, but what is 
to be said of him who, in addition to the Derby winner, has 
a couple of mares who between them account for the One 
Thousand, Oaks, Leger, and Cesarewitch of the same year? 
Surely 'lucky' is hardly the word. Yet this was the feat 
accomplished by Baron Meyer de Rothschild in 1871 with 
Favonius, Hannah, and Corisande. Small wonder that their 
sporting owner, elated at having thus swept the board, in reply 
to the toast of his health at a public dinner, wound up with the 
following * tip ' : * The Baron means to race next yean Follow 
the Baron ! ' A rather unfortunate piece of advice as it turned 
out, for, strange to say, from that moment the Baron's luck 
completely deserted him, his horses the following year being 
hardly capable of winning a race. 

\ Never, probably, in the annals of the race has a St Leger 
provoked more genuine excitement than that of 1873, when 
Mr. James Merry, discarding for once in a way the usual custom 
pf declaring to win with one, announced his intention of allowing 
Doncaster and Marie Stuart, winners respectively of the Derby 
and Oaks, to run entirely on their merits. Popular as were the 
colours of the great Scottish ironmaster with the multitude, it 
was questionable if they had ever been more so than on this 
particular occasion, and it is good to know that such a sporting 
resolve was productive of good results, a splendid race between 
the two stable companions terminating in a victory for the mare^ 
Alas ! this memorable race for the Leger was not without its 
tinge of sadness. For some time past Mr. Merry's health had 
been gradually breaking ; few, therefore, were surprised when, 
not a great while afterwards, the news came that the owner of 
some of the most celebrated horses that ever adorned the Britbh 
Turf had passed away. 

The following year. Apology, ridden by John Osborne, won 
the One Thousand, Oaks, and Leger, additional interest being^ 
attached to her performances owing to the fact that she was the 
property of an aged clergyman, named King, who raced under the 
name of Launde. Before the race for the Leger, the Bishop of 
his diocese had the bad taste to write a letter of remonstrance^ 
(leploring his racing proclivities, to the clerical owner of Apology^ 
which epistle the latter replied to in a style which must have 
made his lordship feel uncommonly small. After explaining 
that he had never even seen Apology run, he added pathetically 
that he thought it rather hard under the circumstances that he 

Heroines of the Turf. 5 

was not allowed to spend in peace the. few remaining years left 
to him. He must have been a rare good sportsman this Parson 
King. When informed by his trainer on the eve of the Leger 
that with her legs in the condition they were, it was dangerous to 
run Apology, his reply was, * Run her, if only on three legs ! AU 
York^ire is on ! * 

In 1878, Pilgrimage, belonging to Lord Lonsdale, whose 
doubtful forelegs rendered her liable to a breakdown at any 
moment, won both the One and Two Thousand Guineas, 
beautifully handled on each occasion by Tom Cannon, his riding 
in the latter race especially being a masterpiece of horsemanship^ 
whilst in the same year Janette, ridden by Fred Archer, won 
the Oaks and L^er for Lord Falmouth. In the latter, Archer 
literally pulled the race out of the fire by about as daring a piece 
of horsemanship as ever was seen on a racecourse. Apparently 
hopelessly shut in, his quick eye saw an opening which probably 
not another jockey in England would have availed himself oft 
and, dashing through at all hazards, went on and won. 

The following year we find Lord Falmouth to the fore again 
with that beautiful mare. Wheel of Fortune, with whom he won 
the One Thousand Guineas and Oaks. Unfortunately the game 
daughter of Adventurer went amiss prior to the Leger, otherwise 
the great race of the North would probably have fallen to her 

i88^ saw that fine old sportsman, Mr. W. S. Crawford, ta 
the fore, with his good mare, Thebais, who won for him the 
One Thousand and Oaks. Entered for the Cambridgeshire^ 
this good-looking daughter of Hermit was at once pounced upon 
by the public as a good thing, and backed accordingly. Un- 
fortunately, this did not suit the book of Mr. Crawford's fiery 
consort, * Bob,' Duchess of Montrose, who, furious at being fore- 
stalled in the market, a contingency for which she ought to have 
been prepared, and for which no one but herself was to blame,, 
insisted, in spite of remonstrances on all sides, on scratching the 
mare on the very eve of the race, with the result that for the first 
time in his life Mr. Crawford found himself hissed as he drove off 
Newmarket Heath. After such a long and honourable career as 
his on the Turf, this was indeed a case of the * last straw,' and 
one can readily believe what was said at the time — viz., that it 
went well-nigh to breaking the heart of this fine old sportsman. 

In 1882 the Oaks was won by Geheimniss, a daughter of 
Rosicrucian, the property of Lord Stamford, and trained and 

6 Heroines of the Turf. 

ridden by Tom Cannon. How, when backed for the St. Leger 
as if the race was over, the good thing was upset by the despised 
Dutch Oven, who had suddenly returned to her two-year-<Jd 
form, is matter of history. Allowed to start at 40 to i, had 
Dutch Oven been the property of anybody but Lord Falmouth, 
some very unpleasant remarks would no doubt have been made 
It speaks volumes, therefore, for the reputation of both owner 
and trainer, that the only result — and not altogether an un- 
natural one under the circumstances — was a dead silence when 
the mare and Fred Archer returned to the weighing-room. 

In 1883, Bonny Jean won Lord Rosebery his first classic race 
by beating fourteen others in the Oaks, and in 1884, Busybody, 
purchased by Mr. * Abington ' at Lord Falmouth's sale, won for 
that eccentric young sportsman the One Thousand and Oaks. In 
1886 the Duke of Hamilton, to the great delight of everybody, 
won his first classic race with Miss Jummy, who followed up 
her One Thousand victory by winning the Oaks, and in 1887 the 
popular Badminton hoops were carried triumphantly in the 
same two events by that good mare, R^ve d'Or, who it was 
opined by her ducal owner would have certainly added the 
Derby to her laurels had she been started for that event. 

In 1888 the Oaks and Leger fell to an exceptionally fine mare 
in Seabreeze, by Isonomy, the property of Lord Calthorpe, 
whilst in the following year the Oaks was won by as charming a 
filly as one would wish to see in L'Abbesse de Jouarre, the joint 
property of Lord Randolph Churchill and Lord Dunraven. As 
a four-year-old the Manchester Cup and Portland Plate at 
Doncaster fell to her lot, and the Hardwicke at Ascot the year 
after. The Duke of Portland was lucky indeed with his fillies 
in 1890, winning the One Thousand with Semolina and the Oaks 
and Leger with Memoir. 

1892 may fairly be designated La Fl^che's year, seeing that, 
bar the Derby, which she missed through no fault of her own, 
this marvellous little mare not only cantered away with the One 
Thousand, Oaks, and Leger, but finished up by winning the 
Cambridgeshire with 8 st. 10 lbs. on her back. 

As a four-year-old we find her in the Liverpool Autumn 
Cup with 9 St. 6 lbs., and at five the Ascot Gold Cup. Alto- 
gether a career such as has seldom been equalled, much less 
surpassed, on the British Turf. 

In 1878 a four- year-old Hungarian mare named Kincsem, 
H grand stayer, who had never been beaten in her own country. 

Heroines of the Turf. 7 

ii^as sent over here in charge of her trainer and jockey, an 
Englishman named Madden, father of Otto Madden, the famous 
rider of to-day, with a view to winning the Goodwood Cup, 
a task she accomplished with the greatest ease, though she 
only beat two others, Pageant and Lady Golightly. So im- 
pressed was Lord Falmouth with the performance that he tried 
all he knew to buy her for breeding purposes, but to no purpose. 
In all she won fifty-five races, the only semblance of a defeat 
being a dead-heat with Prince Giles at Baden-Baden. Like 
many another good mare, Kincsem proved a fortune at the stud. 

After La Fl^he we find nothing particularly worthy of 
special notice until the one and only Sceptre appeared upon 
the scene, enveloped in a perfect halo of romance, and destined 
to be talked about as no racehorse ever was before, or probably 
will be again. 

Surely never was such a spoiled child as Sceptre ! If she 
lost a race one day and won the next, what cared the public ? 
They cheered her just the same whatever happened. And then 
a remarkable thing occurred. Just when every one was agreed 
upon one point, viz., that it would be a very long while, if ever, 
before another racehorse worthy to be mentioned in the same 
breath as Bob Sievier's * Old Lady ' made his or her (Ubut on 
the Turf, a rival in the shape of Pretty Polly appears upon the 
scene, and before long finds herself as firmly established in 
public favour as ever her illustrious rival was. 

And what a career was hers ! But for her unlucky defeat in 
the Prix Municipale, which was never quite accounted for, and 
in the Ascot Cup, by Bachelor's Button, when palpably unfit to 
run, she would never have been beaten. Which of the twain 
was the better is a moot point, but it is tolerably certain that it 
will be some time to come before two such brilliant stars appear 
in rapid succession in the Turf firmament as Sceptre and 
Pretty Polly. 


It is now exactly sixty-eight years since Lottery won the 
£rst Grand National Steeplechase, and it would be odd indeed 
if, during the interim, even in such a limited area, a mare didn't 
-crop up occasionally with performances which would fairly 
-entitle her to be remembered in after years as a Heroine of 
the Turf. 

Taking them altogether, we should be strongly inclined to 

8 Heroines of the Turf\ 

award the palm for popular favouritism to Brunette, wha 
was ridden in all her engagements by Mr. Alan M*Donough, 
next to Jem Mason perhaps the most celebrated cross-country- 
horseman of his time ; and in later years Medora, belonging ta 
the late Mr. Fothergill Rowlands, a past master in all that 
concerned what is sometimes termed the * illegitimate game,' 
^n whose capable hands this wonderful mare won steeplechases 
innumerable, not only in England and Wales, but abroad ; not 
the least important of these being the Grand Steeplechase at 
3aden-Baden, either in the late fifties or early sixties. 

Brunette, a dark-brown mare by Sir Hercules, out of a 
half-bred mare by Yeoman, had really a wonderful career, she 
having between 1841 and 1846 won no fewer than twenty-two 
steeplechases, besides being second several times, carrying top 
weights. Every one of her victories except two, viz., the Grand 
Handicap at Worcester in 1846, and the Grand Handicap at 
Hereford in the same year, took place in Ireland. 

Needless to say, she and Alan M'Donough figure promi- 
nently in Messrs. Fores's well-known picture, by J. F. Herrings 
^en., entitled * Steeplechase Cracks.* 

Nor amongst the old stagers must we forget The Nun, the 
winner of many steeplechases, whose desperate race at Kings- 
bury, in 1868, with The Lamb, whom she beat by a neck, will 
not be readily forgotten by those who witnessed it. 

Charity was the first mare to win the Liverpool, when in 
1841, carrying 12 st, she beat nine others. Then came Miss 
Mowbray in 1852, an aged mare, who with lost 4 lbs. gave 
that fine horseman, Mr. Alec Goodman, his first winning mount 
in the race. 

In 1859, i860, and 1 861, the mare proved the better horse 
on each occasion, the winners respectively being Half-Caste,^ 
Anatis, and Jealousy : Anatis being steered by Mr. Thomas, still 
happily among us, hale and hearty. 

A year intervened, and then came the successive victories of 
the two famous sisters, Emblem and Emblematic. The former's 
big jump over the water in front of the stand, and her still more 
sensational performance later on at Birmingham, when she 
cleared 36 feet 3 inches at the brook, are both talked of to 
this day. 

With nothing very striking in appearance about Emblem, it 
was indeed a case of * Handsome is that Handsome does ' with 
Emblematic, for her appearance with George Stevens on her 

Heroines of the Turf, 9 

back in the usual parade was a signal for a burst of merriment 
from the occupants of the stand at the bare idea of such a mean* 
looking bag o' bones winning the Grand National. 

In 1872 came Casse T^e's turn, an aged, varminty, washed- 
out-looking chestnut, the property of Mr. Edward Brayley, 
familiarly termed * Old Boots,* who, little fancied by anybody ' 
but her astute owner and his immediate friends, started at 
40 to I, and won in a canter in the hands of the still-living Joh'h 
Page, now a prosperous Surrey farmer. 

In 1880 the Grand National went to Ireland with the five- 
year-old Empress, a real good mare, trained by Mr. Linde and 
ridden by Harry Beasly ; whilst three years later, Zoedone,. 
6 yrs., 1 1 St., ridden by her owner. Count Kinsky, gained a most 
popular victory in gallant style, and probably would have scored 
again a year later but for having been unmistakably tampered 
with on the day of the race. 

Never was a more popular victory than that of old Frigate,, 
who had an immense following among the general public when, 
Jafter two unsuccessful journeys on previous occasions, she 
succeeded in winning the Grand National of 1889 in the hands 
of Mr. Tom Beasly. A gamer or more consistent mare than 
Frigate never looked through a bridle, and it would have been 
hard lines indeed had she not pulled her admirers through at 

The latest mare to set the seal on her fame by winning the 
Grand National was Shannon Lass, whose victory in 1902, 
despite the fact that she started at an outside price (40 to i),. 
and upset a great favourite in Ambush II., was bound to be 
popular if only on account of her owner, Mr. A. Gorham, wjio- 
had long been favourably knoiVn as one of the staunchest and 
most liberal supporters of steieplechasing in the kingdom. 

How it was she was allowed to start at such a long price is 
difficult to understand, for she had never as yet suffered a 
reverse, the nearest approach to one being her dead-heat with 
Full Flavour, who had been tried by his owner to be something 
quite out of the common. With ordinary luck this sterling 
good mare might easily have followed in the steps of The 
I-amb, The Colonel, and Manifesto, and won the National for 
the second time of asking. Unfortunately, a heavy fall at the 
water at Sandown proved to be more serious than it appeared 
at the time, the result being that what looked like a brilliant 
career came to an untimely end then and there. 



By Clifford Cordley. 

HOUGH not unclouded, the hunting horizon, as 
regards the British Islands, is fairly clear, and that 
is a good augury ; for, coming from metaphor to 
reality, the lover of horse and hound neither requires 
nor desires too much brilliancy of atmosphere. Though *a 
southerly wind and a cloudy sky * does not constitute the ideal 
state of affairs venatic — though scent often serves rarely when 
airs are easterly — yet a certain amount of dulness and damp- 
ness are requisite. Perhaps the climate of Great Britain and 
Ireland, grey and humid, is more fitted for the chase than that 
of any other region. 

Fox-hunting is a comparatively modem institution. The 
oldest pack of foxhounds still extant does not date back many 
generations. The ' national sport ' is not much more than two 
hundred and fifty years old. 

At what date the first pack of hounds exclusively devoted 
to the pursuit of the fox was established cannot be accurately 
determined. Doubtlessly there was a transition between the 
<:hase of the stag and the hare to that of the fox. Later, 
harriers were turned into foxhounds, and the same pack hunted 
various quarry. Of this undesirable procedure Somervile treats 
{somewhere about 1720), when he writes advising * A different 
hound for ev'ry different chase select with judgment ; nor the 
timorous hare o'ermatched destroy.' 

Of historical packs of foxhounds there may be mentioned, in 
passing, the Gogerddan, kept by the Pryses, of Cardiganshire, 
:since the year 1700 ; the Earl of Yarborough's, in the same 
family since .1746; the Milton pack (Earl Fitzwilliam's), about 
1770; and some others, the history of most of which will be 
familiar to hunting men. 

As for the princely and glorious Badminton, the pack was 
established prior to 1642, but early records were destroyed — 
by fire, I think. A Duke of Beaufort abandoned stag-hunting 
and restored fox-hunting about 1762. This historical change is 
Still commemorated by the blue and buff uniform of the Hunt 
in question. 

About the year 1800 there were some twenty-five regular 

Thoughts on Hunting, 1 1 

packs of foxhounds, subscriptions being then practically un^ 
known, and capping, save in the form of a tip to servants, 
undreamed of; in 1835 there were nearly one hundred packs; 
in 1876 there were one hundred and thirty-seven packs of fox- 
hounds in England and Wales, of which three hunted six days 
a week. Progress has been reported since thea 

Masters of Hounds began to advertise about the time of 
the battle of Waterloo, when newspaper proprietors wanted to 
diarge for the insertion of fixtures. 

I will not weary the reader with many extracts from books^. 
which are open to everybody, but I should like to be allowed to 
i^roduce and comment upon a few printed extracts. Thus, in 
Cecil's Records of the Chase, we read that ' there are two con- 
spicuous causes from which the origin of the Chase may be 
traced — one, for the purpose of procuring food ; the other, that 
of destroying ferocious or noxious beasts. Hunting is not con- 
fined to the civilised portion of mankind ; it still continues to 
be the engagement of the uncultivated savage,' The writer in 
question omits to mention the fascination of Sport — the charms 
of woodcraft and hound-work ; the fierce joy of galloping and 

The Maister of Game {circa 1480) enumerates the different 
beasts of venery which were hunted in those days (the stormy 
period of the Wars of the Roses). They were *the hare, the 
herte, the bukke, the roo, the wild boore, the ffox, the gray (or 
badger), the cat, the martin, the otir, and the wolf.' The sporting 
wolf became extinct in England (but not in Wales, I think) in 
the reign of Henry VII., about ISCX); in Scotland in 1742, and 
in Ireland about 177a 

* Queen Anne gave encouragement to racing, but took no 
part in hunting,' states a writer. So ? And yet Thackeray, 
ungallantly and disloyally, speaks of this sovereign as 'tearing, 
red-faced and boozy with meat and drink, in her chariot, down 
the glades of Windsor Forest after her staghounds.' Having 
stated that Queen Anne took no part in hunting, the author 
in question continues : * Neither did the succeeding kings, 
Georges I. or II.; but about the period of their reigns fox- 
hunting became an amusement with the nobility, gentry, and 
wealthy of Great Britain. Before that time the sport was confined 
' to driving the foxes to ground and digging them out, trapping 
diem, or worrying them with terriers.' Of which more anom 
Though the death of Queen Anne is an accomplished and 

12 Thoughts on Hunting. 

well-known fact, I must briefly go even a little further back into 
history. The rulers of this kingdom (I now refer especially to 
England) have been generally sportsmen and hunters. To 
them we owe a great debt. The Norman kings hunted ; so 
<Jid the Plantagenets, so did the Stuarts. King James I., King 
Charles II., and King James 11. were specially devoted to 
hunting ; as was George III. Our present gracious and beloved 
ruler rode boldly and well with the Pytchley, the Quorn, the 
Fitzwilliam, the West Norfolk, and other packs, some twenty 
years ago. And who can say how much we are indebted to his 
Majesty for his example in this direction ? 

Well, then, we find that fox-hunting was going sufficiently 
strong soon after the year 1700. We have ample testimony 
that, at this period, the sport had assumed a recognised position 
from the inimitably graceful and sportsmanlike descriptions of 
the poetical Master of Hounds, Somervile (bom 1692, died 1742)- 

But we must hardly speak of this branch of the Chase as the 
* national sport.' To be historically correct, we must dub the 
pursuit of the stag as the * national sport ' — the * sport of kings ;' 
for stag-hunting is as old as equitation and chivalry. And when 
fox-hunting began to be established, packs of hounds were not 
kept exclusively for that chase ; they hunted (as we have seen) 
indiscriminately fox, hare, and deer, and perhaps otter, just as 
now some packs of harriers occasionally run outlying deer, and 
packs of otter-hounds are largely composed of animals priniarily 
•entered to stag, or fox, or hare. 

Hare-hunting is very much more time-honoured than fox- 
hunting. In Yorkshire there still exists — going strong and 
well — a pack of harriers whose history extends back in an 
unbroken line to the year 1260. These are the Penistone 
Harriers, whose first Master, Sir Elias de Midhope, ruled over 
them in the reign of Henry III., more than six hundred years 
ago. Throughout many centuries your country squire's estab- 
lishment was incomplete without a pack of harriers (or the still 
older beagles), as a host of successive writers, from Chaucer to 
Steele, tell us. 

When wild in British woods the noble savage ran — ^when the 
sportsmen of these sport-loving islands prosecuted their neces- 
sary hunting lightly clad in coats of blue paint — the quarry 
very often killed with a sort of boomerang was very inclusive in 
character : wolf, boar, bull ; stag, hind, buck, doe, roe ; bustard, 
sivan, goose, heron, and perhaps hare — which last, however, the 

Thoughts on Hunting. 13 

ancient Britons did not eat It was long before the honours 
pertaining to a beast of chase were accorded the now almost 
sacred fox ; which, until only the other day, as it were, was 
regarded and treated as mere vermin, and killed anywhere and 
-anyhow — as it still is in certain mountainous regions of the 
North of England and the Highlands of Scotland. 

Says Roderick Dhu (in the ' Lady of the Lake ') : • Though 
the beast of game the privilege of chase may claim, though 
space and law the stag we lend . . . whoever reck*d, where, 
iiow, or when, the prowling fox was trapp'd or slain ! ' 

St John actually used this illustration when engaged in 
<:onfuting the plea of law proposed for the unfortunate Earl of 
Strafford : * It was true we gave law to hares and deer, because 
tliey are beasts of chase ; but it was never accounted either 
<:nielty or foul play to knock foxes on the head as they can be 
found. . . .' 

This was in 1641. 

To the blue of the ancient Britain succeeded the green — the 
true sylvan livery (worn by the last Master of the Royal Buck- 
liounds). The wearing of the 'pink* is associated with a 
degraded era and form of fox-hunting. The custom of wearing 
scarlet in fox-hunting is supposed to have had its origin in the 
<:ircumstance of its being a royal sport, or, rather, undertaking, 
-confirmed by the mandate of Henry IV., who organized and 
equipped, in the royal red livery, a corps for the destruction of 
foxes ; not at all after the manner which sportsmen of the 
present day would regard as legitimate. 

The franklin, the squire, and the yeoman kept hounds for 
the pursuit of the hare. All adown the ages, from the time of 
William I. to only the other day, the stag was hunted with all 
pomp and formality. (I do not now refer to the chase of the 
-wild red deer upon and around Exmoor.) Of a meet of the 
Royal Buckhounds, in the reign of George III., it was written : — 

* The sonorous strains of the horns, the musical melodious 
-echo of the hounds . • . was a repast too rich, . . . All these, 
together with the presence of our most gracious Sovereign, 
constitute a scene of philanthropy and universal benevolence far 
exceeding description.' But the fox remained vermin until some 
time in the seventeenth century. 

And when fox-hunting did begin to be prosecuted with 
design, dignity, and elaboration, it differed from its present form 
in several particulars, especially that of time. Wetter and more 

14 Thoughts on Hunting. 

wooded, unencumbered by railways and popular centres, was the- 
country, and the sportsman of earlier days was much slower than 
we are, employed far less speedy hounds, and rode lower-bred 
and much slower horses. But the greatest change has been 
wrought in the matter of the hour of meeting and hunting. Our 
forefathers came home from *a day* with hounds at an hour 
which finds us jogging or motoring to the covert-side. 

In the Georgian era fox-hunters got up in the middle of the 
night, hacked along filthily muddy lanes to the fixture in the 
dark, threw off their hounds so soon as they could see to dis- 
tinguish a bullfinch from a barn, hunted the fox from his dra^ 
throughout many toilsome hours ; killed, earthed, or lost their 
quarry at about the time that we arrive at the meet, spick-and- 
span, and trotted home to dinner at noon. After that a * wet * 
evening set severely in — toasts, healths, * sentiments,' and seas- 
of liquor. 

We have changed all that now. We act upon the adage of 
Mr. Jorrocks : * 'Untin* and drinkin' is two men's work.' Indeed^ 
the alteration in this respect, both as regards the drinking and 
the retardment of the time for hunting, is largely owing to the 
putting back of the dinner-hour. 

So recent as some time about 1840, several masters of hounds^ 
tried the experiment of hunting in the evening. This was^ 
abandoned. It was found that foxes ran well then, being empty, 
and though scent improved as the day waned, the growing 
darkness too frequently saved the life of the quarry. This was 
chiefly tested in early autumn, in pursuit of cubs. Cub-hunting 
still commences very early in the morning, and in that respect 
only (plus * ottering ') we continue to copy the methods of our 

For several reasons it might be well were most packs of fox- 
hounds to meet an hour earlier than the popular time, particularly 
during the short days of December and January. 

We will not attempt to describe such details of the present 
phase of fox-hunting, in so far as they differ from the more 
ancient, as the very fast hounds and horses, and sometimes 
riders; the greatly increased size of the fields, which has given 
rise to * capping ' ; the luxurious forms of getting to covert, the 
variations in dress, and the marked accession of ladies in the 
hunting-field (of whom a paragraph later on). Th^se points — - 
sufficiently well known — are somewhat beside our present, design. 

But we must glance at some less hackneyed particulars which 
distinguish fox-hunting in 1907 from the same, say, in 1837 — 

Thoughts on Hunting. 1 5 

the year in which Queen Victoria ascended the throne of her 

Then the very large majority of any given field was composed 
of local people, all more or less directly interested in the land 
over which they galloped. Then nearly every farmer rode 
fairly r^ularly with the local pack. Now, though his heart is 
still with the sport of which he is, after all, the leading supporter,, 
agricultural depression generally forbids him to participate in 
the chase which he loves by heredity. Then the hunting man 
purchased his supplies and spent his money generously in the 
district wherein he hunted and chiefly resided. Now he deals 
with the * Stores,* and spends his cash abroad, or elsewhere, far 
distant from the more or less happy hunting-grounds. 

Then the Master of the Hounds was usually the Lord of the 
Manor or the Squire of at least one of the parishes within the 
limits of the hunt. His term of office was generally a long one. 
He employed a huntsman, and he maintained the pack, either 
solely or largely at his own expense. (Land-owning, like land- 
tilling, was fairly remunerative at that time.) 

Now, in many hunts. Masters are constantly being changed. 
Not a few of them carry the horn — not always so well as a paid 
huntsman, whose profession is thereby curtailed as regards 
demand, and nearly all packs are kept up by subscription, at an 
annual cost varying from 2000/. to far more than double that 
sum — according to * how it is done,* to locality, and to the number 
of hunting days in the week. Indeed, it has been estimated that 
the aggregate up-keep of the two hundred or more packs of 
foxhounds at present hunting in the kingdom amounts to some- 
thing like a million pounds sterling per annum, whilst upon the 
sport there is spent every season in the British Islands not far 
less than 12,000,000/. 

The up-to-date fox-hunter varies from the farmer, the farrier^ 
thMhop-keeper, the professional man, or the man of commerce^ 
keeping one horse and riding to hounds one day a week (or more 
seldom), to the plutocrat whose sole business is the chase 
throughout five months in the year. The latter has a stable of 
fourteen to forty horses, hunts six days a week (weather per- 
mitting), subscribes to possibly three or four packs, and spends 
on his season's sport anything from 800/. to several thousands, 
not including the initial cost of horseflesh. And there are those 
of us who make bold to aver that this Nimrod gets the worth of 
''Nus coin. As for the hunting woman of the period, with her 
correct, mannish costume, her string of hunters, her second- 

i6 Thoughts on Hunting. 

horseman, and her undoubted pluck and skill in crossing a 
country, what mere man dare attempt to do her justice ? 

Barring that attempt, let us briefly discuss Diana, for she is 
there (and all there in the hunting field), and has come to stay. 

There is nothing novel about the presence of woman in the 

arena of sport. Semiramis hunted the lion four thousand years 

ago. Equitation has afways been indissolqbly associated with 

sport Noble and gentle women rode a-hawking in the earliest 

, days, and, later, by a natural sequence, they rode to hounds. 

As for their attitude in the saddle, there are extant, in the 
British Museum and elsewhere, ancient drawings from which we 
learn that high-born dames and demoiselles have ever ridden both 
aside and astride, the latter position being, in the middle ages, 
somewhat more common than it is to-day, when a very small 
percentage of hunting women sit across their horses. It must 
be borne in mind, however, when studying these mediaeval 
illustrations, that artists of those days were practically ignorant of 
perspective, and often put two legs where one leg ought to be, and 
vice versd. 

Again, I say, there is nothing novel about women in the 
hunting-field, nor is there any novelty as regards ladies occasion- 
ally riding either steeplechases or flat races. No less than seventy 
years ago, a lady then well known in society rode a steeplechase, 
for a match, against a prominent man of those days. The lady 
won, hands down. Accusations and recriminations ensued. But 
why resurrect ancient scandals ? Suffice it to say that the lady 
in question rode a steeplechase against a man who was a 
finished horseman ; won the match, and won it fairly. 

Much earlier still, the following appeared in a North-country 
journal, dated August 28th, 1725 : * To be run for. The usual 
four miles' course on Rippon Common, in the county of York, 
according to articles. On Monday, the thirteenth of September, 
a purse of twenty guineas by any horse, mare, or gelding that 
was no more than five years old the last grass, to be certified by 
the bredeer, each horse to pay two guineas entrance, run three 
heats, the usual four miles* course in a heat, and carry nine stone 
besides saddle and bridle. Women to be the riders.' 

Surely the foregoing is not off" the line, seeing that sportsmen 
and sportswomen are virtually coeval and co-equal ? Moreover, 
an up-to-date hunting field often comprises thirty to forty per 
cent of habits, if not side-saddles. 

Finally, whether we regard stag, bag, drag — foxhounds, 

Come Along to the Meet. 1 7 

harriers, beagles, or otter-hounds^ — the pursuit of the wild deer 
in North Devon and West Somerset — or even that of the 
badger with> hound and horn — the chase is more popular to-day 
than ever it was. There are more packs and far larger fields. 

May hunting long flourish ! 

The continuity of the chase^ seriously threatened by agricul- 
tural depression and the growing cult of the gun, depends mainly 
apon the due observance of two principles — consideration for the 
oppressed, faithful farmer, who is the very bed-rock of the whole 
matter, and a disposition to * Pay, pay, pay ! ' 

(Hunting Song.) 

By Henry J. Barker. 

ME along to the meet while the morning is young, 

And the welkin is dappled with grey; 
Don't you hear them — the hounds — they are giving 
it tongue 
As if chiding us all for delay. 
Come along with the throng, 

And a Hark for'ard ho 1 
We will chase him and race him 
With Heigh tally-ho ! 

Oh, our fox he's a game one, and keeps in the clear, 

And hell point for the upland anon, 
While the scent, it is good — and the hounds all appear 
As if banded together in one. 
With a Hark for'ard ho. 

And our blood all aglow, 
We chase him and race him 
With Heigh tally-ho. 

Ah, that music's wild magic— the bay of the hounds 

In our ears as we gallop along ! 
More enchanting the rise and the fall of those sounds 
Than ever was syren's wild song. 
Still louder we cry 

And still harder we go, 
As we chase him and race him 
With Heigh tally-ho ! 

( i8 ) 


By Arthur F. Meyrick. 

T may not be generally known, in connection with 
the King's breeding and racing of blood stock, that 
each year is compiled a neat card, giving the details 
of the service and produce at Sandringham, and 
also the horses in training at Egerton House, Newmarket. 
However, such is the fact, and it is due to the favour of one of 
these introductions that we are now able to publicly tell of how 
matters stand at the commencement of the new year at both 
the just-mentioned quarters. With Richard Marsh at New- 
market there are also located two-and-twenty horses, the pro- 
perty of His Majesty, apart from the successful addition to the 
National Hunt sport in Nulli Secundus, last back-end transferred 
to the care of Captain Dewhurst, and one or two at the Curragh^ 
including the Grand National candidate, Flaxman, in charge 
of that excellent amateur horseman, Mr. Lushington, who 
contributed so much to the popular Liverpool victory of 
Ambush H. But here we will content ourselves alone with 
the details of the Royal stud-card before us. Of Richard 
Marsh's charges, the oldest, it will be noticed, is Coxcomb^ 
a six-year entire son of Kilcock, who was not bred at 
Sandringham, but purchased with a view to lead-work. So- 
Morfes, by Ladas, and Cheverel, by Persimmon, are the oldest 
of His Majesty's breeding, and the latter is kept in training- 
evidently with a view to valuable stakes, to be found 
against his name in the recent issue of Ruffs Guide, He,, 
never having won races, is therefore favoured with maidea 
allowances ; and of the seven three-year-olds, Isograph, Alex- 
andra, Perambulator, Victoria, Slim Lad, and Cynosure are the 
same — indeed, we have never yet seen Alexandra, Isograph, or 
Perambulator sport the royal livery. Of these, the last-named^ 
Cynosure and Slim Lad, are in the Two Thousand Guineas^ 
but the classic prospects, perhaps, more favour the fillies^ 
of which Victoria and Osella have winning brackets to recom- 
mend them. A victory of either in the Oaks would complete 
the classic sequence of His Majesty. That race is the only big 
three-year-old event the King has missed, although he went 
very near the mark the year Persimmon won the Derby with 
Thais : Canterbury Pilgrim, Lord Derby's first Oaks winner^ 
being alone there to stop the way. 

The Royal Stud. 1 9 

But expectation of the forthcoming season perhaps rests 
more with the younger stock. In all, the two-year-olds 
number just thirteen, of which Persimmon is responsible for 
four colts and exactly the same number of fillies. All have 
received names, except the chestnut filly by Persimmon, out of 
Loch Doon, a Bread Knife mare, and a filly, out of Chate- 
laine, by Florizel II. Diamond Jubilee is responsible for 
ijolden Amber, out of Ambleside, and St. Simon and Ladas are 
the only two stallions patronised outside Sandringham. Ladas 
is represented by the well-named Lady Wayward, out of Vane, 
an own sister to Flying Fox, and St. Simon's two are from 
Nunsuch, the dam of Nulli Secundus, and the other from the 
beautifully-shaped Ascot Cup winner, Laodamia, who certainly 
so far has not been the success anticipated ; indeed, the royal 
stud just now seems sadly in want of another Perdita II. She 
was a most fortunate bargain at the outset for the King, and, 
although there is a variance of opinion as to who was the 
fortunate purchaser of the mare for His Majesty, the appended 
letter should decide the point. Dated Kingsclere, October 6th, 
1902, the note runs as follows : — 

* Dear Sir,— The price paid for Perdita II. was 900/. I bought her 
from Mr. Faulkener, who raced under the name of Mr. Benholm. No 
one else had anything to do with the purchase of the mare, though 
several take the credit of having done so. — Yours, &c., 

* (Signed) J. Porter.' 

Excepting Persimmon, all that now remains in full blood of 
that famous defunct mare at Sandringham is her last foal, 
Nadejda, which after Perdita's deatl\^ was brought up, we hear, 
even by royal hands. Although heavily engaged, and sent to 
Egerton House, however, Nadejda never raced. The stud, too, 
has little further advanced this mare's future, for the card before 
us tells us of her twice being barren, first in 1905 to Isinglass, and 
next, in 1906, to Flying Fox ; so we have yet to await the 
result of last spring's mating with Orme. In the history of the 
Derby it is, we should say, impossible to find in a space of ten 
years two instances where a stud matron has produced a couple 
of heroes. The last ten years, however, show this of Morganette, 
with Galtee More and Ard Patrick in the one case, and Perdita II., 
Persimmon, and Diamond Jubilee in the other. The stud-book 
records tell of Morganette in her time as having had other foals, 
but of the defunct Perdita II. the following, which is at all times 
interesting to look upon, shows her produce to have numbered 
seven, besides Persimmon and Diamond Jubilee. Perdita 11. 

20 The Royal Stud. 

went to the stud in 1887, and the first foal of this daughter of 
Hampton was Derelict, which won one race and lost eight But 
here is the stud-book record, with other additions as to the 
doings of the produce : — 

Year. Produce. Races won« Races lost Value* 

1888 Be Derelict by Barcaidine.... 4.... i ... 8 ... ;^ioo 

1889 Bf Barracouta by Barcaldine i ... 3 ... 227 

1890 Barren — ... — ... — 

189 1 Brc Florizel II. by St. Simon ... ii ... 11 ... 7,858 

1892 Barren — ... — - ... — 

T 893 Be Persimmon by St. Simon ... 7 ... 2 ... 34,712 

1894 Be Farrant by Donovan — ... — ... — 

1895 B f Azeeza by Surefoot — ... 1 ... — 

1896 Brc Sandringham by St. Simon ... — ... — ... — 

1897 Be Diamond Jubilee by St. Simon 6 ... 10 ... 28,185 

1898 Slipped foal — ... — .. — 

1899 BfNadejda by St Simon — ••• — ••• — 

Total 26 35 ;i^7i,o82 

Curiously enough, all Perdita XL's produce were colts 
except Nadejda, Azeeza, and Barracouta. And Azeeca, who 
was a Surefoot, also was not a success. Her first service was St 
Simon, but the mare died in 1904. 

But let us go back to the horses Richard Marsh now has at 
Egerton House in training, under the watchful eye of Lord 
Marcus Beresford, the extra Equerry to the King, and who also 
has the arrangements of the Sandringham stud. The following 
is a complete list of the three and twenty, of which there is one 
six-year-old, two of four, seven of three, and the remainder just 
turned two-year-olds. As neither of the old ones are in the 
Spring Handicap, an early start need not be anticipated; 
although, of the youngsters it may be noted Ruff tells of their 
first engagement being as near as the Brocklesby at Lincoln. 
Curiously enough, both Lord Marcus Beresford and Richard 
Marsh were bom on a Christmas Day, Lord Marcus last 
December having attained his fifty-eighth birthday, while the 
Egerton trainer is just half-a-dozen years his lordship's junior. 
But here are the 

Horses in Training. 

Coxcomb, b h by Kilcock out of Gaiety, 6 yrs. 

Mor^, b c by Ladas out of Medora, 4 yrs. 

Cheverel, ch c by Persimmon out of Cheveronny, 4 yrs. 

Perambulator, b c by Persimmon out of Spy Glass, 3 yrs. 

Slim Lad, br c by St. Simon out of Laodamia, 3 yrs. 

The Royal Stud. 


Isograpb, b c by Isinglass out of Amphora, 3 yrs. 

Alexandra, b f by Persimmon out of Ambleside, 3 yrs. 

Victoria, b f St. Simon out of Meadow Chat, 3 yrs. 

Osella, b f by Orme out of Ecila, 3 yrs. 

Cynosure, ch g by Cyllene, out of Ncucmovsha, 3 yrs. 

Perdrigon, b f by Persimmon out of Meadow Chat, 2 yrs. 

Maid of Norway, b f by St. Simon out of Nunsuch, 2 yrs. 

Golden Amber, ch f by Diamond Jubilee out of Ambleside, 2 yrs. 

Perolina, b f by Persimmon out of La Carolina, 2 yrs. 

Lady Wayward, br f by Ladas out of Vane, 3 yrs. 

Simpatica, br f by St. Simon out of Laodamia, 2 yrs. 

Persian Lilac, br f by Persimmon out of White Lilac, 2 yrs. 

Peridore, ch c by Persimmon out of Medora, 2 yrs. 

Perrier, b c by Persimmon out of Amphora, 2 yrs. 

Perspective, b c by Persimmon out of Spyglass, 2 yrs. 

Court Plaister, br c by Persimmon out of Courtly, 2 yrs. 

Chestnut filly by Florizel II. out of Chatelaine, 2 yrs. 

Chestnut filly by Persimmon out of Loch Doon, 2 yrs. 

It scarcely seems two - and - twenty years ago since His 
Majesty won his first race in his own name and colours under the 
Jockey Club Rules at Sandown Park with Counterpane, traine<l 
by John Porter at Kingsclere and ridden by Fred Archer. But 
such is the case, and the success of the royal livery in the 
succeeding season is told in the following table. Porter only had 
chaise of the horses at Kingsclere till the end of the eighties so 
by a long way the greatest credit of the winnings, which now 
reach considerably over a hundred thousand pounds, is due to 
the painstaking efforts of Marsh. The figures below, we may 
add, do not include the Grand National, won by Ambush II4 
or other steeplechases or hurdle races under the National Hunt, 
of which the King is patron. But here is His Majesty's flat-race 
score, calculated to date : — 


Races won. 



Races won. Valoe. 


.1. 2 ... 


1897 . 

• 9 -j^'S.TT* 


... — ... 


1898 . 

6 ... 6,s66 


... — ... 


1899 . 

5 ••• 2.»39 


2 ... 



9 ••- «9.SS« 


... 4 ... 



. — ... — 


... 7 ... 



a ...• i,5i» 


I ... 


1903 . 

. 3 ••• 3.»oS 


2 ... 


1904 . 

5 • I.905 


... 5 .. 


1905 • 

3 ... 90* 


... II ... 


1906 . 

. 4 .. •,t'88 


..; 12 ... 



91 ;^i?8^<» 

52 The Royal Stud. 

From the above it will be gathered that there are only 
three vacant seasons. Of the others, 1892 was the worst 
year; the best that of 1900: money then won chiefly by the 
aid of Diamond Jubilee, who defeated the previous record held 
mainly by the winnings of Persimmon. This famous Derby 
hero, too, has not been backward in the half-dozen seasons of 
his stud returns. Last year he headed the list of successful 
sires, the best of his produce being Keystone II., and we may 
add that in earlier times, such as Zinfandel, Plum Centre, 
Mead, Cheers, Chatsworth, and, last but not least. Sceptre, 
have been hi» best offspring. Of Sceptre it may be mentioned 
she, in 1901, was the first of his stock to catch the judge's eye. 



Races won. 



















Total .. 




The brood mares in the small but select Sandringham stud 

in all number thirteen, and, excepting the already referred to 

Nadejda, Amphora, and Medora, all have living yearlings. 

,The first two were barren last year to Flying Fox and St. 

Simon, while Medora, who is the dam of that good horse 

Zinfandel and Moris, was not served in 1905. It may also 

*be noted that of the others, Meadow Chat's best produce have 

been Mead, Chatsworth, and Victoria. Spyglass is responsible 

for Perambulator, Laodamia for Slim Lad, Ecila for Osella, and 

Amphora for Glass Jug. But here are the thirteen with their 

pedigrees, ages, and spring expectations : — 

Afeadow Chat (1892), by Minting out of Stone Clink, by Speculum 

(covered by Ladas, May 2nd). 
Spyglass (1893), by Royal Hampton out of I Spy, by Speculum 

(covered by Cyllene, May loth). 
Laodamia (1890), by Kendal out of Chrysalis, by Lecturer. 
N;unsuch (1894), by Nunthorpe out of La Morlaye, by Doncaster 

(covered by St Simon, May 15th). 
Ambleside (1890), by Petrarch out of Stray Shot, by Toxophilite 

(covered by Diamond Jubilee, April 30th). 

The Royal Stud. 23 

Ecila (1899), by Persimmon out of Meadow Chat, by Minting 

(covered by Orme, February 20th). 
Loch Doon (1898), by Bread Knife out of the Doon, by Beauclerc 

(covered by Persimmon, April 15th). 
White Lilac (1896), by Springfield out of Eglentyne, by Hermit 

(covered by Persimmon, May i8th). 
Courtly (1891), by Hampton, out of Little Lady, by Rosicrucian 

(covered by Persimmon, March 13th). 
Vane (1897), by Orme, out of Vampire, by Galopin, sister to Flying 

Fox (covered by Ayrshire, May i8th). 
Nadejda (1899), by St Simon out of Perdita H., by Hampton, 

sister to Persimmon (covered by Orme, May 14th). 
Medora (1890) by Bend Or out of Agneta by Macaroni (covered by 

Persimmon, April nth). 
Amphora (1893), by Amphion out of Sierra, by Springfield (covered 

by Flying Fox, April 6th). 

The yearlings at Sandringham are as follows : — 

Bay filly by St. Simon out of Meadow Chat, foaled April 23rd. 
Bay filly by Diamond Jubilee out of Spyglass, foaled April 30th. 
Ch filly by Cyllene out of Laodamia, foaled April nth. 
Bay filly by Persimmon out of Nunsuch, foaled April i6th. 
Ch c by Diamond Jubilee out of Ambleside, foaled April 19th. 
Brown filly by Gallinula out of Ecila, foaled February loth. 
Bay filly by Persimmon out of Loch Doon, foaled April isth. 
Bay filly by Diamond Jubilee out of White Lilac, foaled March 30th. 
Brown filly by Persimmon out of Courtly, foaled January 30th. 
Brown filly by Ayrshire out of Vane, foaled April i8th. 

In conclusion we may say that since Diamond Jubilee was, 
like Sandringham, sold to go to America, the royal stud 
shelters only one sire in Persimmon, but another successful 
horse at the stud yet the property of His Majesty, and one of 
the earliest to do justice to the royal colours, is Florizel IL, who 
stands at Heath Stud Farm, Newmarket. 

( 24 ) 


By • Snaffle/ 

JT chanced, upon a recent day, 

In mood serene, 'twixt grave and gay, 
Nor lost in thought, that I should stray 
From end to end the Sacred Way* — 

As Horace said ; or, if he didn't — to paraphrase Jorrocks — it 
was Colonel Newnham Davis. I assume, as I take it I may do, 
that the Sacred Way of London is none other than the Royal 
one of King Charles the Second, whose philosophy, by the way,, 
was a good deal like that of the poet — to whichever of the two 
we assign the sentiment My own philosophy is perhaps more 
of the peripatetic school, as indeed was that of Mr. Soapey 
Sponge, of immortal memory and trousers ; but, unlike that 
hero, I should not choose Oxford Street for my morning stroll. 
My walks abroad, when I am in London, seldom fail to include 
the five furlongs, more or less commonly described as * the 
North side of the Row/ Excellent as the Row is for the 
philosopher, it is perhaps even better for the student of horse- 
flesh and of horsemanship desirous of learning — what to avoid. 
The last commandment has always been a stumbling-block ta 
me where a good horse is concerned, but it is uncommonly 
seldom that it suffers from my thoughts in Rotten Row. 

Now we have got round to the place at last, I will b^in 
again. The other day — wo-ho ! Pegasus ! prose this time — as I 
generally do o' mornings, I strolled down to the Row, and there 

I saw a maiden in br in a ' ride-astride habit' I know this 

is the correct phrase because, unsparing of my blushes, I hunted 
it up in a ladies' sixpenny weekly. The maiden was tall, 
slender, and dignified exceedingly. In fact, the philosopher 
might surmise that the extra dignity was supposed to cover the 
lack of skirt ; but, as a matter of fact, the garment probably 
contained quite as much skirt as an ordinary modem habit, so it 
must have been the lack of — ol—je ne sais quoi. As one of the 
very last to ride in the Row in a tall hat, I have never looked 
upon the present-day exhibition there as anything but a fancy- 
dress function, but surely this is carrying things a bit too far. 

Diana of the Cross^saddle — and Sidesaddle. 25 

Yet, perchance, it is a logical conclusion. Howdver, 'one 
swallow does not make a summer/ nor one ' ride-astride ' a 
London fashion. 

The question of riding astride is, however, a burning one, or, 
^t least, I infer it is, by the frequency with which it is referred 
to by the Press, and the fact that the other day the Daily Mail 
gave it a 'special' article.' The writer of that article was a 
woman, who warmly recommended the practice because, as she 
said, she had so ridden many miles in wild countries. Well, it 
so happens that if I cannot cap her personal experience, I can 
very nearly do so, for it is a fact that my wife has so ridden 
many a long mile by my side both in European Turkey and in 
Asia, and always hated it, and considers it both unsuited and 
injurious to a woman. The which proves, at any rate, that single 
experiences cannot be conclusive one way or another. 

My own opinion in this matter is that moderate cross-saddle 
horse exercise on a quiet horse, not too broad, is not in itself 
calculated to harm a woman, and that in little girls it is preferr 
able to side-saddle exercise. But it is absolutely unsuited to 
any woman if her horse is likely to plunge violently — as, for 
instance, some young thoroughbreds do — if the horse is very 
broad in itself or its saddle, and, above all things, if there is any 
jumping to be done. Therefore, no woman should hunt in a 

Now the reasons. Well, it is difficult to give them in full, 
because they are rather of an anatomical and therefore indelicate 
nature. It will perhaps be sufficient here to refer to the very 
lai^e number of hunting men who suffer from ' ricked thigh,' 
and to reflect what the strain that causes such an injury to a 
strong man might inflict on the tender frame of a woman. Yet 
it is a very common risk of the hunting field. Moreover, it 
seems to have been entirely overlooked that if a woman is to 
ride astride, she may possibly not yet have been provided with 
the appropriate outfit. Ingenuity has let itself loose on the 
habit, where nothing more than a Christ's Hospital boy's gown, 
secured at the knee, was required, but the saddle has been 
allowed to be any man's one that came handy. 

' Of all the saddles that are in use in the world at the 
present day, the English hunting-saddle is the most difficult to 
stick to,' said a friend to me the other day, he being a man who 
has ridden many thousands of mrles on many sorts of horse- 
furniture. ' If I am on one, and the horse suddenly turns aside, 

26 Diana of the Cross-saddle — and Side-saddle. 

I go on.' It was a view of the matter that was new to me, who 
have practically always stuck to the one saddle, or else none 
at all, with which I include pack-saddles, deer-saddles, and 
similar abominations. Personally, I feel happier, say, on a six 
or seven-pound steeplechasing saddle than when tucked up 
amongst cloaks, wallets, sheepskins, shoe-cases, sword-frogs, and 
field-glass cases, in the full war-paint of a field-day, on which 
latter occasion I have always felt that if my horse did come 
down there would be trouble. There is no doubt that, for 
jumping, the plain pigskin, and what Assheton-Smith called the 
' gripe on a horse,' are the thing, but the man must have them 
bothy as the former without the latter conduces to ' voluntaries.* 
Then, in the case of the horse falling, the man instinctively lets 
go — when the trouble is quite irremediable — and sticking to the 
reins, turns over and comes down safely, if not gracefully, on 
that part of his person which was constructed for such purposes. 
This is what is called ' knowing how to fall,' the fall being the 
ordinary hunting tumble. Timber is trouble, nine times out of 
ten ; and as for water, if a horse is obviously not covering it, a 
prompt relaxation of one's grip may save his back, or, at any 
rate, a shoot over the shoulder may help him to struggle out. 
But it wants to be carefully judged, as to let go, with the 
result of only cutting a voluntary from a horse that has got over 
all right, is one to be avoided. 

To return, however, to our subject. I have said before that 
the cross-saddle is not, and never can be, suited to women in the 
hunting-field, therefore there is no necessity for such a woman's 
cross-saddle to be plain. Rather should it be of the Australian 
pattern, with huge rolls in front of the knees, and, I think, 
something of the sort behind the thigh. This sort' of construc- 
tion might reduce the risks of riding astride for the fair sex. 

And now we have got on this always interesting subject— 
the sex, I mean, not the saddle — would it be unreasonable to 
ask. Is it necessary they should ride so very badly } 

Now, I am not talking of those who have learned late in life, 
and for whom there may be excuses. I am talking of the 
ordinary English girl, blooded to fox on her first pony at six or 
seven years of age, and a regular follower of hounds ever since. 
Nor am I talking of affectations — such as that awful trick of 
carrying one's elbows up to one's ears — but of real, serious faults. 

Just let Diana trot quietly down the Row for us— the slower 
the better. Nine times out of ten, though she feels at home. 

Diana of the Cross-saddle — and Stde-saddie. 27 

die doesn't look it. Either she sits across her horse ; or swings 
her leg desperately, like a pendulum ; or screws her body from 
side to side ; or presents some other unsightly trick. What is 
the reason ? Well, the real reason is the confusion that exists 
in the average English mind between sticking on and riding. 
Children in this country, as a rule, are just stuck on a pony, 
some information as to the holding of the reins is given by a 
groom, and for the rest they teach themselves. Very, very rare 
it is for any of them to see the inside of a riding school at any 
period of their lives — ^unless, indeed, they are of the male sex, 
and drift into the army. Hence, as a rule, their faults are un* 
corrected, and if they go to books for information, they are 
likely to be little the wiser. The other day I read a paragraph 
published for the information of women which deliberately stated 
that a lady's stirrup-leather should be of such length as just to 
reach from the armpit to the knuckles. The scribe had lifted 
it bodily from a treatise on riding, no doubt, but overlooked the 
fact that the said treatise referred to men's riding. Indeed, this 
very fault of riding with too long a stirrup-leather is the real 
cause of more than half the bad riding of the sex, and of the 
frequent sore backs, which, by the way, I omitted to say are the 
strongest argument in favour of the cross-saddle. 

A woman's stirrup-leather should be shorter than her leg 
from the knee down, for the reason that it is attached to the 
saddle at a point below the level of the knee, and should bring 
her leg almost close against the pommel. But her arm should 
be longer than her leg from the knee down. Too long a leather, 
again, is sometimes a cause for another fault — that of sticking 
the toe down. Indeed, I might almost call it an excuse^ when I 
consider how almost universal this ugly fault is where it is not 
done in order to reach a too-distant stirrup. 

The question of ladies' attire is one that suggests the fate of 
Actaeon, but I may, perhaps, be allowed to ask why this great 
affection on the part of the sex for butcher-boots (which, by the 
way, they invariably call * top-boots ')} * A leg for a boot ' is 
certainly not a woman's point, and I am glad to know it is not 
so considered even by them ; but a nice plump calf and well- 
shaped ankle, which are totally hidden by a boot, may be 
brought out by a short, well-fitting legging and ankle-boot, a 
combination, however, that is rarely seen under a habit. 

Women, I think, require second horses more than men, as 
they, practically, never get off. To be sure, some men don't ; 

28 The 'Accursed^ Blacklock Line. 

biit then they ought to. But if a woman has a second horse, hy 
all means let her have a second saddle. Nothing to my mind 
looks worse than a lady standing in the mud, holding two 
horses, whilst a groom changes her saddle from one horse to the 
other. Besides, all the advantage of having a second horse may 
be lost in this delay if hounds are running. Saddles cost less 
than horses, as a rule, so why spoil the ship for a ha'p'orth of 

More women are hunting in this year of grace 1907 than 
ever hunted before. Well, I say tantpis^ especially if many of 
them are like the one I heard of the other day, who, interrogated 
as to the day's sport, replied, * Oh ! we had a twenty-three- 
jump gallop in the morning, and a sixteen-jump gallop in the 
afternoon.' I thought of the saying of an old friend of mine, 
' A knowledge of what hounds are doing is given to no woman, 
and to few men.' It was ungallant, it was untrue ; but it was 
very tiearly true^ all the same. 

I see some newspaper scribes fall foul of women's chatter in 
the hunting-field, but they are not always worse offenders than* 
the men. The worst case I ever knew was that of a field officer 
of the Royal Artillery — on the retired list, it is, perhaps, only 
fair to add. Still, the old advice to hunt in black and hold 
one's tongue might be paraphrased for this * monstrous regiment 
of women ' as, * Don't chatter, or throw sandwich-papers about' 


By F. INSKIP Harrison. 

[HOUGH the Sterling and Galopin lines trace back 
their genesis to the same little horse, Eclipse, bom 
nearly a century and a half ago at the stables of 
H.R.H. the Duke of Cumberland, they may now 
for all practical purposes be regarded as two separate and 
distinct branches of the equine family. The one usually confers 
on, its representatives sedateness, steadiness, and sobriety; the 
other an unequalled brilliance, marred only by a certain d^ree 
of unreliability and nervous excitement. Eclipse was purchased 
as * yearling by Mr. Wildman for eighty guineas. He was not 

The 'Accursed^ Blacklock Line. 29 

faced till he was five years old, by which time he was the 
property of a * Captain ' O'Kelly, who had given one thousand 
guineas for him, a very large sum for a thoroughbred in those 
far-away days. Eclipse's first race, at Epsom on May 3rd, 
1769, gave occasion to the historic bon mot of O'Kelly — 
* Eclipse first, the rest nowhere.' So it proved, Spiletta's son 
winning by a distance. The same year Eclipse won seven 
other races. The following year he was equally successful, and 
tiltimately fear of his prowess grew to such an exteiit that no 
<^pposition could be found to him. 

At the stud he was an enormous success, siring nearly three 
hundred and fifty winners of some 160,000/., and that, it must 
be remembered, was in the days of small stakes and prizes. 
He sired three winners of the Derby — Young Eclipse, 1781 ; 
Saltram, 1783; and Sergeant, 1784; as well as one winner of 
the Oaks, Annette, 1787. Out of a mare called Polly he also 
sired King Fergus, the virtual founder of the Galopin, or, to speak 
xnore nearly, the Blacklock line. King Fergus sired three 
winners of the St. Leger, including Hambletonian, 1795. The 
last-named was out of Grey Highflyer, a No. i family mare, to 
whom Eclipse sires must have a special affinity, as they have 
invariably mated well with them. Hambletonian failed to sire 
a classic winner, but to him Rosalind threw Whitelock, the sire 
of Blacklock, with whom the history of the Galopin line practi- 
cally commences. In vain will the name of the * terrible brown,' 
as he was termed, be searched for in the list of cl^sic winners, 
though undoubtedly he should have won the St. Leger of 1817. 
So g;reat a 'certainty' was the race considered for Mr. Watt's 
horse, that odds were laid on him. Yet, after seeming to have had 
the race well won, he went under to Ebor by a neck. He was 
leading easily when Ebor made his successful rush, and it was 
solely owing to his jockey failing to notice the proximity of the 
latter, and easing up, that he lost. Blacklock's sire, Whitelock, 
was a grandson of the famous mare, Atalanta, and it was the 
inbreeding to the latter, as will be hereafter shown in dealing 
with Voltigeur, that, in my opinion, assisted in the first place to 
afllix this famous line in the position it now holds. Blacklock, 
throughout his stud career, had to live down the persistent 
attacks of the late Dr. Shorthouse, who, in season and out of 
season, constantly vilified the horse without either ; rhyme or 
reason. That the horse managed to do so is so much the more 
to his credit, and it is interesting to speculate what hiis traducer 

30 The 'Accursed' Blacklock Line. 

would think now, could he but see the proud position to which, 
the ' accursed ' Blacklock line has attained. Blacklock died at 
seventeen years of age, in 1831, leaving behind him no classic 
winners, but a son, Voltaire, destined in the flux of time to be 
the progenitor of one greater than either of these, to wit^ 
Voltigeur. The last-named was bred by Mn Robert Stephenson^ 
of Hart, and, like many other youngsters of renown, failed to 
reach his reserve price of 350 guineas when put up for 
auction at the Doncaster Bloodstock Sales. Previously his 
owner had offered Martha Lynn, then carrying Voltigeur in 
utero^ to a friend for 25/., but the opportunity was lost by the 
latter, and in this connection it is rather remarkable to note 
that Blacklock's dam only cost her owner 3/. 

Ultimately the Earl of Zetland purchased Voltigeur pri- 
vately, and what a bargain he made may be judged from the 
fact that the great horse was only unsuccessful in one of the 
sixteen races which he contested during his career. He had no 
difficulty in winning the Derby of his year, which he did most 
brilliantly, but his great triumph was to come in the midst of 
his countrymen at the Doncaster Autumn Meeting. In the St. 
Leger he hardly showed up in his true colours, as amidst great 
excitement a despised Irish horse, known as Russborouglv 
managed to make a dead-heat of it with him. In the run-off 
Voltigeur won easily. His big triumph was to come, however^ 
on the Friday, when he met the Flying Dutchman, then a year 
older and an unbeaten horse like himself. Long odds were laid 
6n Lord Eglinton's horse, but after he had made the early 
running at a tremendous pace he compounded, and Voltigeur 
won by a neck. The following year the two great horses met 
again in a match at the York Spring Meeting, over the distance 
of two miles for a thousand guineas, aside. Admiral Rous made 
his first important handicap in this event, and he set the 
* Dutchman ' to concede the other 8^ lbs. for the year between 
them. Immense sums changed hands at even money, so close 
was the contest considered, and the defeat of the younger horse 
by a bare length was a severe blow to all Yorkshiremen. 
Voltigeur never ran again, and was sent to the stud at once. 

It is not difficult to see why Voltigeur should have been so 
superlative as a racehorse. Not only was his great-grandsire, 
Whitelock, a descendant of the famous mare, Atalanta, but his 
maternal great-grand-dam, Treasure, traced back to the latter 
both through her sire, Camillus ; her maternal grandsire, Hya- 






The 'Accursed' Blacklock Line. 31 

cinthus, and maternal grand-dam, Flora. Such extraordinary 
in-breeding was bound to have an advantageous effect, and 
though at the stud Voltigeur was only able to sire one classic 
winner, Vedette, the latter inherited blood which was to have 
its culmination later on in Galopin and St. Simon. Galopin was 
bred at the Diss Stud by Mr. Simpson. He was reputed to be 
by Vedette out of Flying Duchess, but before he won the Derby 
rumour was busy to the effect that he was really by Lacydes. 
This report arose from the lax way in which the Diss Stud was 
managed, and though there is little doubt Galopin was actually 
by Vedette, the same cannot be said of several fillies who passed 
as his own sisters. When Galopin was sent up to auction as 
a yearling. Prince Batthyany became his purchaser for 520 
guineas. Galopin ran five times as a two-year-old, and was 
twice beaten. In the opening race of his career, Cachmere, a 
very smart filly, beat him by a neck in a bumping finish, but 
was disqualified ; whilst he lost the Middle Park Plate by two 
heads owing to being nearly knocked over in the Abingdon 
Mile Bottom. He commenced the following year by defeating 
Mr. Chaplin's filly. Stray Shot, in a match, and then won the 
Derby in the easiest manner imaginable after running wide at 
Tattenham Comer. A success at Ascot followed, and then 
came his great match with the flying Lowlander at the New- 
market Second October Meeting over the R.M. He was set to 
receive 12 lbs. for the two years between them, and fairly ran the 
other out of it Then he won the Newmarket Derby, his last 
race, for following it he was retired to the stud. 

A study of Galopin's pedigree readily reveals where he got 
his great racing merits from. His grand-dam, Merope, was full 
sister-in-blood to Velocipede — ^thc last-named, in John Scott's 
opinion, the best horse he ever trained. Now, Merope was by 
Voltaire, and as Vedette, Galopin's sire, was a grandson of the 
latter, the Velocipede amalgamation was practically duplicated 
in the pedigree. Galopin was at the stud for twenty-four years, 
and during that time sired winners of upwards of a quarter of 
a million of money in stakes. His best sons were Galliard and 
Disraeli (winners of the Two Thousand Guineas), Donovan 
(winner of the Derby, &c.), and St. Simon. To the last-named 
he owes his fame, as neither of the other three proved more than 
fair successes at the stud. St Simon was bred by the owner of 
Galopin, Prince Batthyany, but the latter was not destined to 
see the horse carry his colours, as death claimed him whilst 

32 'In the Wrong Box' 

watching Galliard win the Two Thousand Guineas. At the 
break-up of the Prince's stud, the Duke of Portland got the colt 
for 1600 guineas. In appearance he was hardly prepossessing, 
being rather on the leg, but his short back and powerful loins 
denoted immense strength. St. Simon inherited from his sire^ 
Galopin, the irritability of the tribe, but he never showed temper 
in his races. 

He was never beaten during his racing career, and his 
performance as a two-year-old in the Prince of Wales' nursery 
at Doncaster still stands as a record. He carried 9 st, and won 
in a canter by eight lengths from a tremendous field. He won 
the Ascot Gold Cup by twenty lengths, and was at least a stone 
superior to the next best of his year. Unfortunately, however, 
he held none of the classic engagements, the death of- his 
nominator. Prince Batthyany, having rendered them void. At 
the stud St. Simon proved an immediate success, and though 
with such as Memoir, La Fl^che, Signorina, Roquebrune, and 
Amiable, his merits seemed to run on the female side at first, 
others like William the Third, Persimmon, St. Frusquin, Diamond 
Jubilee, Florizel II., Raeburn, St. Serf, Childwick, St. Florian, 
Bill of Portland, and Pietermaritzburg have amply proved that 
his sons as well as his daughters possess his abilities and vitality. 
St Simon*s career as a sire is unequalled, and the permanent 
mark he has made on the thoroughbred bloodstock of the world 
might well make the late Dr. Shorthouse turn in his grave. 



^j/TiM Whiffler. 

^ELL, my bonny boy, did you back my horse.?* 

exclaimed my old friend George Studholme in his 

breeziest manner, as we foregathered in Jermyn 

Street, a few days after his Grand National victory. 

* What a question to ask,' was my reply. * You don't suppose I 

should let a pal like yourself run loose on such an occasion as 

that, do you ? Why, had you been riding a donkey I should 

have felt it my bounden duty to have a bit on your mount. 

' In the Wrong Box' 33 

Besides, didn't you tell me in the winter what a " moral " it was 
for Dragon Fly if he only got to the post all right? Yes, 
my dear George, I had a pony each way at twenties the very 
next day after getting your tip, consequently my feelings when 
I read in the paper the week before last how your good horse 
was nearly burnt to death in his bed may be better ima- 
gined than described. It must have been a precious narrow 
squeak, eh V 

* I should rather think it was indeed,* was the reply. ' But 
come and have a bit of lunch at the Raleigh, when Til tell you 
all about it, and I'm open to bet anything you like that when 
I've finished you'll say you never heard such a story in your life. 

* •* OA, this world is awfully rum. 
It terribly puzzles the Quaker!''* 

laughed George, as, linking my arm in his, he bore me off to the 

'Thank goodness I've got the muzzle off!* exclaimed my 
host gleefully ten minutes later, as he eyed with evident satis- 
faction the savoury dish the waiter was placing before us. 
' No " wasting," never no more, for yours truly, my boy ! Fact 
is,' went on George, * I promised the parental governor, bless 
his heart — pledged my word of honour, indeed — that if ever I 
had the luck to steer the winner of the Grand National, I would 
from that time forth give up steeplechase riding for good and 
all. Another reason is'— George reddened as he spoke — 'I'm 
engaged to be married, and my best girl, don'tcherknow — -you 
understand — what } Waiter, just fill our glasses, will you } 

' And now,' said my host, recovering his composure, * for the 
story I promised you. You know the outlying farm of the 
governor's where | hang out and train the gee-gees, don't you ? 
Well, years ago, when I was a boy, it was tenanted by ^ farmer 
of the good old-fashioned sort, named Houldsworth, a widower 
with sundry daughters and one son, just about my own age, of 
-whom I saw a good deal. 

' Taking kindly to all kinds of sport, and a capital cricketer, 
young Fred Houldsworth would probably, had he been given a 
fair chance, have developed in time into a yeoman farmer of the 
best type, like his father before him. Unfortunately for himself, 
however, an old aunt of his living in London, in the happy 
possession of what Soapey Sponge's horse-dealing friend, Mr. 
Benjamin Buckram, would have termed •* a little hindependance 

34 * /« if^ Wrong Box^ 

of her own," having taken a violent fancy to the lad at an early 
age, was perpetually having him to stay with her in town, and 
taking him here, there, and everywhere, with the result that, as 
he grew older, country life in general and farming in particular 
grew more and more distasteful to him every day. Suffice it to 
say that, at the age of twenty, a more perfect specimen of that 
common object of the country, the village Adonis, you wouldn't 
meet with than Fred Houldsworth. 

• Of little or no use to his old father at a time when he most 
needed it, and idle and dissolute into the bargain, the village 
gossips might well opine, as they discussed his goings on over 
their beer and *baccy at the " Cat and Fiddle," that " T'owd lady 
up in Lunnun had made a gen'el'man o* Mas'r Fred, sure/e>." 

'Then came the turn o' the tide. First of all the old aunt 
died, and it came as a great shock, no doubt, to her self- 
constituted heir when he awoke to the fact that his relative had 
been living all these years on an annuity, which, of course, died 
with her, and, with the exception of the furniture of the house 
she lived in, of which she was only a yearly tenant, and which 
she bequeathed to his father, his aunt had nothing to leave 
except a few hundred pounds she had managed to save, and 
an old grey parrot, the former of which she left to be divided 
between him and his three sisters. 

* •* It never rains but it pours," they say, so it was quite in 
the order of things when, one dark night, his daughters, alarmed 
at a loud neighing outside, went out to find that their father's 
horse had arrived home without his rider, who, later on, was 
found lying dead in the road with a broken neck. This led to 
a general break-up of the farm. My dear old governor would 
gladly have given Fred Houldsworth a chance if only for his 
father's sake, of whom he had been very fond, and taken him 
on as tenant, but, as his offer was declined, there was nothing 
more to be said. There was the usual sale, and soon afterwards 
the family went their different ways. The daughters married, I 
believe, whilst, as for Fred, no one seemed to know what he 
was doing for a livelihood. He had, indeed, almost faded out 
of my recollection, until, just ten days before the Grand National,* 
I received a letter from him which fairly filled me with astonish- 
ment. Commencing, " Dear Mr. George," he begged me to grant 
him an interview immediately, in London for choice, but any- 
where but at the farm, if only for the sake of old times, as he 
had most important information to give me concerning the 

* hi the Wrong Box.^ 35 

GrsiiPd National. The letter concluded : ** Whatever your 
opinion of me — and I fear it is none too favourable a one — 
I entreat you, if you value your horse's wellbeing, not to lose a 
moment in putting yourself into communication with your old 
friend and well-wisher — Fred Houldsworth." 

* My curiosity being thoroughly roused, the more so as Dragon 
Fly had gone none too well in the betting of late, for some in- 
explicable reason, I wired to my mysterious correspondent, at 
the address he gave me — a newspaper shop in Holborn — arranging 
a meeting on the Sunday following, at twelve o'clock, at my 
rooms in Jermyn Street. Not only that, but having a very shrewd 
suspicion that the world was not using the friend of my boyhood 
quite so well as it might, I came the "Judicious Hooker" for 
once in a way, and sent him a "pony " — for " Kitty," as I delicately 
expressed it. Never was that handy sum better expended, for 
when Mr. "Johnson " — the nom-de-guerre he had adopted for the 
nonce — appeared, he looked as spick and span as if just turned 
out of a bandbox — new hat, new coat, new boots, new every- 
thing. My dear old chappie, as I looked him over I felt like 
half-a-dozen George Herrings rolled into one — quite the gay 
philanthropist, in fact Ton my soul I did. 

' Well, the first thing he did was to burst into tears. Quite 
unnerved me for the moment, I assure you. The sight of me 
after so many years, he said, conjured up the past, and was too 
much for his feelings. Once started, he was meandering on 
about the dear old farm and the old folks at home, and all that 
sort of Tommy Rot, until I felt inclined to say, with Sir Peter 
Teazle, of immortal memory, " Damn your sentiments ! " 

* However, I didn't want to hurt the poor devil's feelings, 
don'tcherknow, so stopped his mouth instead with the big cigar 
and bottle of champagne I had in readiness for him. (The 
••Judicious Hooker" again — what?) 

' That feat accomplished, we got to business at once, as they 
say in fistic circles. And nice sort of business it was, I think 
you'll say, when you come for to hear on't. No need to go into 
Fred Houldsworth's shuttlecock sort of existence since last we 
met. Suffice it to say he had been travelling on the down line 
for a considerable time past, and was now in just about as 
parlous a state as it was possible for a man to be in. The sight 
of only a modest " pony," he declared, nearly sent him off his 
filbert. What an awful feeling, eh ? (Waiter, fill our glasses, 
please !) All he had to depend on for a living, he told me, was 

36 * In the Wrong Box." 

hanging about outside the Beaufort Club in Rathbone Place and 
running messages for the members. What a game, eh ? One 
of these gentry — a low-class brute of a fellow — had a hold on 
him. it appears. Fred owed him a bit, I s'pose. I know the 
beggar well by sight — have had bets with him, in fact, lots of 
times, in the ring. Well, it appears that the rascal was very bad 
against my horse, having not only laid against him for all he was 
worth and more, but had coupled him in some heavy double- 
event bets with the favourite for the Lincoln Handicap. There 
was only one way out of it, in fact, which was to make dear old 
Dragon Fly safe for the National, and that he meant to do with 
the aid of our friend Fred, who, he fondly imagined, would wink 
at anything short of murder likely to bring him in some needful. 
Another reason he had for entrusting him with this piece of 
villainy was that, as no one was better aware than himself, Fred 
Houldsworth had lived in former days at the very place where 
Dragon Fly was domiciled, consequently he knew ever}- inch of 
the ground, which, needless to say, in an affair of this sort was 
a distinct advantage. 

*And the scheme. Poor Fred declared that when it was 
imparted to him he nearly collapsed, and, in fact, would have 
done, but for the stiff glass of whisky and soda at his elbow. 
Well, it was nothing more or less than to pay a visit to his old 
house in the dead of night and drop a lucifer match or two into 
Dragon Fly's box. " And if you can make a bonfire of his 
adjective owner as well," observed his tempter, " well, so much 
the better, and I'll double the reward." Kind of him, wasn't it ? 
"And — er — " faltered Fred, ** what would you give me if I 
consent to carry out your instructions?" 

' " A tenner just afore startin' on your journey and ninety quid 
more when I read in the bloomin* noospaper next mornin* that 
Dragon Fly's out of it for the National," was the reply. " And 
liberal terms, too, I call 'em," added the other, " and double what 
I'd offer any one else, I can assure you, so you'd best *ave another 
drink and shake *ands on the bargain." And Fred, having com- 
plied, borrowed a sovereign on account and went out of the 
house and wrote straight to me, were it only to ease his conscience. 
"And now, Mr. George," said Fred, when he had unburdened 
himself of his secret, the question is, " What is to be done } " 

* " Done ! " I echoed. " Why, do as you are bid, to be sure, 
man ! Collar that scoundrel's tenner, take the next train down 
to Dundleton, and set old Dragon Fly's box afire. That feat 

' In the Wrong Box' n 

accomplished, get back to town again, and secure the balance of 
your little account before the payee repents of his bargain, and 
if that ain't good advice, call me another." 

* " Blut surely, Mr. George," gasped Fred, you don't seriously 
mean that I am to set fire to Dragon Fly's loose-box, do you ? 
Why. even if not suffocated or burnt to death, he would be so 
frightened that he'd never be any more good, chances are !" 

* " But I do mean it seriously," I rejoined. " When I suggested 
your firing his box, I said nothing about old Dragon Fly being 
inside it, did I } On the contrary, I'll take deuced good care he 
isn't. My plan is this. After dark the National horse will be 
moved into another box, at present occupied by a vicious old 
brute named Caliban, who will take his place. The moment 
you've done your work I'll do mine, and smash open the doors, 
and out will rush Caliban, who can gallop to the devil if he 
likes, the old rascal ! Now, is my plan a good one or is it not ?" 

* " First class," grinned Fred, rubbing his hands with delight. 
" I'd give a trifle to see my man's face when he starts knocking 
out the favourite, which he will, you may depend, when he hears 
my report." 

* " Same here," said I, " when he reads in the papers that 
Dragon Fly has arrived safe and sound at Aintree. He'll 
laugh the wrong side of his mouth, as the saying is— eh, Fred .^" 

* Oh, it worked out beautifully, that put-up job of mine. I 
moved the two horses myself when everybody was in bed and 
asleep. Then Fred appeared, and after letting him stealthily 
into the house for a little light refreshment, we proceeded to 
Caliban's box, and having previously opened all the gates, let 
the old sinner out, and set fire to the straw. Away went Fred, 
into the darkness, and I raised an alarm. I forgot to mention, 
by the way, that in order to keep up the illusion, I was attired in 
my pyjamas underneath a great-coat. Out tumbled the head 
lad and the rest, and great was the consternation when they heard 
that Dragon Fly had gone off on his own, for every man Jack of 
'em had backed him for Liverpool. As for the fire, " it was of no 
consequence," as Mr. Toots would say, a few buckets of water put- 
ting paid to its account in a very short time. Meanwhile I kept 
the key of the box which held Dragon Fly in my pocket, held 
my tongue, and awaited developments. Nor was I long kept in 
suspense. I was just getting down to breakfast when young 
John Dickinsop, the very sporting son of a farmer living some 
five miles off, was announced — young John, breathless with 

38 * In the Wrong Box: 

excitement and the pace he had ridden. One of my 'osses, 
clothing and all — he was sure it was Dragon Fly — had arrived 
at their varm at six o'clock that momin', dead beat, and as lame 
as lame could be, too lame indeed to be brought back, or even 
fetched back, and he had galloped over to tell me at once. 
" You'll have to scrat' 'un, I'm feared, Squire," said John ruefully, 
adding, "I met Schoolmaster, who writes the training reports 
for the sportin' papers, strolling up this way as I come along, 
and when I tdld him the news, didn't he hurry off to the tele- 
graph office, neither! I shouldn't wonder if he didn't break 
down during the journey at the pace he was going, poor old 
man 1" remarked John with a grin. 

• No sooner had John taken his departure than my vet drove 
up in great consternation. (He, like the rest, was well on 
Dragon Fly.) Lord ! how he laughed when I let him into the 
secret I gave him some breakfast, and then drove off with him 
in his dogcart to have a look at Caliban in his new quarters. 
He was indeed pretty bad, a doubtful foreleg having given way. 
" Been having a Grand National on his own account, I should 
say, by the look of him," said the vet with a grin. 

' He drove me home again, and then we had in the head lad 
and let him into the secret, and his face of joy when he heard it 
was a sight to be remembered, I can tell you. Needless to say 
I was now all anxiety to see the papers the following morning, 
and how I laughed when I read the account of the great 
conflagration, you may imagine.' 

* It had a very contrary effect on me^ Geoi^e, I can assure you,' 
said I, * when, taking up the Sportsman that morning, I read the 
account of the blaze at your place, together with the agreeable 
item that the scratching of Dragon Fly was only the question 
of a few hours, even if the pen had not been struck through his 
name already. Every mouthful I took at breakfast seemed to 
choke me. When I heard, a day or two later at the Club, 
that the horse had arrived fit and well at Aintree, and was 
" expected " by his party— meaning you — I could hardly believe 
my senses. But I say, George, what a downy card you are 1 
Now, aren't you?' 

'Well, as you ask me,' replied my host modestly, 'I don't 
think I was born yesterday, if the truth were known.' 

( 39 ) 

By *RocKwooD.* 

[H ! plaintive the wail of the wintry wind 
That howls in the chimney-top; 
It seems to tell us we*re left behind, 
And it raises never a hope. 
Yet sadder the sound when with horse and hound 

You hear an ominous note, 
And you find yourself like a ship wind-bound, 

As it comes from your horse's throat : 
When your mount is done, and from all the fun 

You know you are bound to retire ; 
But more cruel by far in the autocar 
Is the note from a punctured tyre. 

It's grand on the road on the stilly night, 

When the moon is shining clear. 
And you ghostlike race through the pale-green light 

With never a doubt or fear; 
Never say * Spill ' — you are over the hill, 

Away from the haunts of men, 
Fast as the wind and free as the will, 

Through woodland glade and glen. 
But there comes a rush as the pebbles crush, 

And you feel like a pig in the mire, 
For it*s followed aye by an ominous hush. 

And you find you've a punctured tyre. 

NO. 222. 
^Arthur Briscoe. 

DINGHEY bumped against the side, and Sinclair 
scrambled on deck and made her fast. ' The missis 
wants me to call for her at 10.30,' he remarked ; ' I 
hope you chaps don't think it rude of her cutting ofT 

like this directly after dinner, but she had promised to go before 

we saw you.' 

Howard and I had run across Sinclair in the Blackwater 

River quite by accident, and had accepted his invitation to 

40 No. 222. 

dinner. It was three years since we had seen him, and many 
things had happened in those years, one of the most unaccount- 
able being his marriage. He had never seemed a marrying 
sort, but he had left this coast on a cruise down Channel in a 
nine-ton cutter, single-handed as usual, and had never come back. 
Some time in the spring a rumour got about that he was living 
on the South coast and was married ; but no one believed it till 
a mutual friend turned up who had seen him and his wife, whom 
he described as a small, dark, nervous-looking little woman, and 
not at all good-looking. 

All ceremony relaxed on the departure of Mrs. Sinclair, and 
we lounged on the bunks and talkec} and smoked. Sinclair's 
boat was a new one, and he had just been telling us what a 
wonder she was when my friend interrupted him : * What have 
you done with the old Polly ? ' 

* Oh,* he answered, * I sold her when I got married. She 
wasn't big enough.' 

* Well,' I said, * you were the last man I ever expected to 
marry. I wouldn't believe it till Tommy told me he'd seen you.' 

* It was a bit of a surprise, I expect,' said Sinclair, smiling. 
* I could hardly believe it myself at first. I took a stranger's 
advice, and although he was about the biggest scoundrel un- 
hung, his advice turned out A-i. It's a rum yam,' added Sin- 
clair, ' and if you like I'll tell you about it ; it was rather 
excfting at times.' 

* Go ahead,' I said, *and if you get sentimental we'll stop you 
at once.' 

* Well,' began Sinclair, * my wife's maiden name was 
Dewhurst : she was a daughter of Colonel Dewhurst, and I had 
known the whole family fairly well ever since I was a boy. 
There were two other sisters, nothing like her — fair, tall, and 
supposed to be beauties ; Mrs. Dewhurst, a dear old lady, and 
the Colonel, a decent old chap when he wasn't put out He had 
just been made governor or commander, or whatever it is, of 
Portland Prison, and when I started down Channel three years 
ago I was going to look them up if I got a chance. I had very 
good luck with winds that year, and got into Portland just at 
dark one evening, after a splendid sail from the Wight. As 
soon as I had stowed and tidied up a bit, I went up to report 
myself to the Dewhursts. They were awfully pleased to see me, 
and what with one thing and another it was midnight before I 
made a move, and when we looked out it was as thick as a hedge. 

No. 22 2. 41 

You could hardly see three feet in front of you. The Colonel 
wouldn't hear of me turning out on a night like that, and after 
a bit of persuading I accepted his offer of a bed. I had 
arranged to take two of the daughters to Lulworth Cove the 
next day, if fine, and we were just making final arrangements 
when an orderly came in with word that a convict had escaped 
in the fog. The Colonel was in the devil of a stew, particularly 
as very little could be done in the fog ; but they had got guards 
on all the possible ways of escape, and expected to find 
him hidden up somewhere on the cliffs as soon as the fog 

' The next day was beautifully fine, and as we could take no 
part in the convict-hunt which was going on, we started directly 
after breakfast for the boat She had taken no harm in the 
night, and in five minutes we were under way with a light North 
wind, reaching along for Lulworth Cove with every prospect of 
a beautiful sail. It was not till we were well on our way that 
I made the discovery that we had another passenger aboard. 
The Polly^ as you know, had no cockpit, just a cabin-top with a 
hatch and companion-ladder, and another hatch aft into the 
hold. Well, when I lifted the hatch into the hold, to get some- 
thing or other, a chap shoved a revolver into my face, and told 
me to hold my hands up. There was nothing else to do, so up 
they went, and the most awful-looking cut-throat you ever saw 
stood up in the hatch ; he was dressed in my clothes, which 
were far too small for him, and he had commandeered my 

* Well, we were in a pretty state : there was I with my hands 
up, the eldest Miss Dewhurst in hysterics, and Kitty holding her 
hand, and as white as death. 

* " Well, governor," our visitor said, " you don't seem pleased 
to see me," to which remark I don't remember answering 
anything. " I'm sorry," he continued, " to *ave to alter your 
plans, but I ain't going to no Lulworth Cove. I'm agoing over 
to France in this 'ere ship, and if you don't want to come, just 
say so an* I'll shove you over." 

* There was no way out of it, so I said I'd sail him over if 
he'd let me put my hands down. 

* " All right, sonny," he said, " down with 'em, and mind you 
play straight. I don't want to 'urt you or the ladies," he 
continued, "but" — and here he wagged the revolver at me — 
" play straight" He had a good look round, and then remarked 

42 No. 2 2 2. 

that **he liked the hold, and would leave the cabin for the 
ladies, but," he continued, " I don't like this hatch," and without 
more ado he threw it overboard. 

* He was a strategist in his way. In the cabin he could 
not keep a good watch on our movements, and might have been 
taken unawares, but in the hold he had complete command 
of the boat, and now the hatch was gone he was quite in- 
vulnerable. There was nothing for it, so I put her head as near as 
I could guess for the Channel Islands, and eased off the sheet. 
I knew the Channel Islands fairly well, and hoped, if I could 
make them, to be able to give our passenger in charge, and send 
word to the Dewhursts. Our passenger kept a sharp look-out, 
watching the compass and the horizon ; twice he made me alter 
the course to prevent us passing within hail of other ships, and 
he continually warned me not to play any games with him. 

* As you can imagine, it was anything but pleasant sailing. 
The eldest Miss Dewhurst had gone below, and although Kitty 
and I tried to carry on a conversation, it was not a success. 
Eventually we fell back on the convict. He was most talkative. 
I suppose he hadn't done much talking for some years. He told 
us his number was 222, and he told us quite a lot about prison 
life, but would not say why he had been there or how he had 
escaped, nor would he tell us his real name. 

*The wind had dropped very light, and we were making 
hardly any way. This suited none of us, and might be very 
awkward indeed, as the stores aboard were few, and it would take 
us a long time to get across if we didn't get a breeze I 
suggested making a tour of inspection, and seeing exactly what 
we had got, but No. 222 would not hear of me leaving the 
deck, so I deputed Kitty to do it, and gave her directions where 
to hunt for the things. While she was doing this I suddenly 
remembered my gun, which was stowed in a locker at the foot 
of my bunk. Now, I didn't know Kitty at all well in those 
days, but her sister was useless, so I had to depend on her for 
any help I wanted. If she made a mistake or gave the show 
away, no doubt No. 222 would carry out his threat, as he kept 
explaining that if I played fair he would " 'urt no one, but if 
not " — and here he would wag the revolver. 

' Well, I decided to try her, so when she had inventoried all 
the things in the pantry and the tinned-meat locker I shouted 
down to her, " See if there's anything in the starboard locker at 
the foot of the bunk." She was some time looking, and then 

No, 222. 4J 

she answered in a perfectly natural voice, "Only empties." 
Now, there might have been empty bottles there, or she might 
mean the gun, I was not sure which, so I said, " Try the little 
cupboard by the stove." This I knew had nothing in but some 
medicine bottles, and a few cartridges which I had over from 
last winter. 

* " That's better, there's some full ones here," she answered. 
" Right ho ! " I said. " We may as well have something to eat," I 
added, and as I was not allowed below I had again to depend on 

* She prepared our lunch and handed it up to us on deck. I ate 
mine and steered, while No. 222 retired with his into the hold. 
You know how an enamelled plate marks with a knife ; well 
Kitty had written on mine " All ready " in pencil. I rubbed it out 
with a bit of bread and wrote " wait " with my knife, and handed 
the plate to her to wash up. It was no good attempting any- 
thing in daylight, or indeed in the night, unless we were certain 
of success, and I could think of no plan that was safe as long as 
Na 222 kept awake. 

* About nine o'clock we hung out the side lights, and stern 
light, lit the binnacle lamp, and got all straight for the night. I,, 
of course, had to stay on deck, and Kitty insisted on staying up 
to help, and took spells at steering to give me a rest. We were 
out of sight of land, but could still see the glare of Portland light,, 
and occasionally the lights of steamers passing up and down 
Channel. About eleven o'clock, Kitty, who was steering,, 
nudged me, and pointed out lights on our starboard quarter,, 
evidently a big vessel and travelling at a great pace. I was just 
going to say she must be a warship, when the idea of trying to 
signal her occurred to me. I took my hat off, and started giving 
quick flashes by working it in front of our stem light. No. 222,. 
from where he crouched in the hold, could sec only the forward 
part of the ship, so it was quite safe so long as he stayed where 
he was. After about two minutes' flashing, I got an answer, and 
immediately made the spelling signs ff., and then sent the 
message, " Send help, armed convict aboard." I had to signal 
slowly and make no noise, or No. 222 might notice. They got my^ 
message, and started signalling back, but I'm no match for Naval 
signalmen, so I gave up trying to read, and sent the single word 
" Help," in the hope that it might give them an idea of our pre- 
carious position. You may bet I watched those lights with 
interest and a certain amount of fear, and when I noticed the 


No. 222. % 




masthead lights gradually close in, and realised that she was 
swinging round in our direction, my heart began to work like 
a motor dinghey that isn't sparking right. Suddenly the port ^ 
light jumped into view, she was straight on us, and we should 
know in a few minutes what No. 222 would do. Kitty said she * 
was cold and retired to the companion, where she stood with her 
head out of the hatch, and I steered and tried to form some 
plan of action. 

• No. 222 looked round and saw the lights. " Steamer astern," 
he said. I looked round and tried to feign surprise. "Why 
don't she get out of the way," he grumbled ; ** there's lots of room 
for both of us.** She was now fairly close, and between us and 
the glare of Portland light. Her shape gradually became visible, 
two masts and four upright funnels. Suddenly the truth flashed 

on the convict. " It a warship,** he hissed, and clambering 

out of the hold he started crawling aft on hands and knees, and 
•crouching as if to hide himself. I thought my hour had come, 
but he was too intent watching the huge shadow drawing up 
to us, and listening to the throb of her machinery and the hiss 
of the water round her ram. When she was nearly alongside, 
some one hailed us to lay-to, and at the same moment the 
searchlight was turned upon us. No. 222 jumped up, and 
shoving the revolver into his pocket, made for the dinghey ; this 
was his undoing. Kitty, whom I had forgotten, for my eyes had 
been mostly on the convict, suddenly said, " Put your hands up 
or ril fire.** We both turned, and there she was with my twelve- 
bore covering No. 222 ; his hand started for his pocket, but she 
shouted, " Up with them, quick ! ** and up they went. We must 
have presented a curious tableau to those on board the warship, 
from which I could hear orders being shouted and the noise of 
a boat being lowered. It seemed ages before I heard the boat 
put off, and heard the oars as the men pulled to our assistance. 
They were almost alongside when the convict made a leap 
across the deck. I had been waiting for something of the sort, 
and screaming to Kitty not to shoot, I closed with him. I 
managed to grip him round the waist and throw him, and 
although he banged me about I held on like grim death, and we 
rolled over and over on the deck. I heard the boat shoot up 
alongside, and in a moment a couple of blue-jackets had my 
adversary on his back, pinned out on the deck. 

* *' Look out,*' I gasped, as I struggled to my feet ; " he*s got 
a loaded revolver in his pocket.'* 





No. 222. 45 

' " IVe got it/' said Kitty, and she held it up. " I took it out 
of his pocket when he was struggling with you." 

* " You'd better give it me to unload, and the gun too," I 

' " Oh, I never loaded the gun, I was afraid it might go off," 
she answered. 

* I wish you could have seen No. 222's face when he heard 
this, and heard the roar of laughter with which the boat's crew 
greeted this magnificent piece of bluff. 

* " You should take to Poker," the officer said, but I don't 
think Kitty understood what he meant. 

'Well, explanations followed, our late passenger sitting 
gloomily on the thwart of the boat, and hearing our story of 
his misdeeds. 

'The officer thought it likely that they would return to 
Portland with their captive ; if so, and the captain agreed, would 
we like a tow ? Rather ! I should just think we would ; that is, 
if they didn't go too fast " Right, I'll tell the captain," and the 
boat shoved off and rowed for the warship. 

* They had not gone far before I heard struggling, and the 
voice of No. 222 calling to me. His words were mixed with the 
sounds of the struggling guard, but one sentence I got intact 
•* Marry her, governor," he shouted ; " she'll make a man of you 
yet. If I'd 'ad another minute, I'd have killed you, and then I'd 
have married her myself." 

' Well, to cut a long story short, they towed us home, and 
the next spring I took No. 222's advice. He was told of it in 
prison, but his only comment was that if he had had a minute 
more " she'd have had to marry a corpse." 

* That,' said Sinclair, * is the whole story, and explains how I 
came to get married.' 

* I don't quite see,' I said smiling, * how the explanation comes 
in. Who was No. 222 ; did you ever find out ? ' 

* Oh, yes,' said Sinclair, * an awful scoundrel,' and when he 
mentioned his name we both whistled softly. 

( 46 ) 

By Miss M. V. Wynter. 

• Believe me, my beloved 'earers, if a man's inclined for the chase, 
he'll ride almost anything or wtdk sooner than stay at home/ 

jHE cry of hounds appeals to something within us that 
we cannot define, and our first impulse is to follow/ 
says Mr. Paget ; and there are a goodly number of 
sportsmen and sportswomen who, on the principle 
of half a loaf being better than no bread, prefer to come out 
even on their own flat feet, rather than forego hunting entirely ! 
To toil through the mud on Shanks' mare when our neighbours 
are riding seems to indicate a genuine love of the chase, and 
one worthy of commendation ; but it is a sad fact that, far from 
being praised for this keenness, the foot sportsman as a rule is 

* hated and despised of his neighbour/ * Those blasted foot 
people always getting in the way and spoiling sport ! ' growls 
young Snobberly, secure in the happy consciousness that, thanks 
to the paternal potted meat, his leg for a boot will never be 
endangered by pedestrianism. * * I wonder what the pleasure can 
be of running with hounds ? ' a faultlessly equipped sportsman 
once asked me ; and it is a question which every foot follower 
has probably put to himself at some period or another. Never- 
theless, in spite of the heartburn and jealousy that will arise at 
times, the longing to feel a good horse beneath us, to be in the 
van instead of toiling along on weary legs in the rear, we 
maintain that it is possible to obtain a great deal of pleasure 
in following hounds on foot, in addition to the undeniable 
opportunities which it affords for learning the science of hunting 
itself and for developing an eye for country. Secure in the 
thoughts of having a second horse out, we may perhaps venture 
to bucket along to retrieve a bad start, or an error of over- 
cunningness ; but as a sporting contemporary truly remarks, 

* No man can get his second legs even if he can get his second 
wind,* and he who attempts to follow hounds on foot must 
exercise to the full his powers of eyesight and hearing, and his 
knowledge of the habits of the quarry he is hunting. Foot 
followers of hounds may, broadly speaking, be divided into two 
classes — those who know the game and those who do not ; and 

Hunting on Foot. 47 

it is to the misdeeds of the latter class that we owe the evil 
aroma which clings around the name. 

To those who rarely see hounds, and are ignorant of the 
very rudiments of hunting, the cry of hounds, the twang of the 
horn, the whole pageant of the chase, is absolutely intoxicating. 
It is from no desire to be mischievous or to ruin sport, but 
simply an insane excitement which seems to compel them to 
rush wildly everywhere they should not be, and to holloa — ' 
ye gods! how they holloa! 

The plea of ignorance is a poor excuse, nevertheless, for the 
ruination of a day's sport, and we should like to see a Bill 
passed for the introduction of * sporting lectures ' to be held in 
•every district in England. 

It is not with these occasional and unwelcome followers of 
the chase that we are concerned at present, however, but rather 
with those who, either from some physical defect which j-enders 
them unable to sit a horse, or from that equally painful accident, 
lack of means, find themselves dependent on their legs for the 
greater part of their sport. It is needless to say that those who 
follow on foot can see far more hunting with either a pack of 
foot beagles or foot harriers, or, failing these, with harriers them- 
^Ives, rather than with fox or staghounds. 

Beagles and Beagling. 

The only sporting way of hunting the hare is on foot, 
says Mr. Paget, and without entirely acquiescing in this, the 
popularity of beagling is undoubtedly becoming greater 
•every day. 

Those who know their Xenophon will remember that the 
chase in those early days was conducted entirely on foot, and it 
is most refreshing to read the Athenian's enthusiastic if slightly 
gushing description of poor puss : ' It is so pleasing an animal 
that no one who sees it, whether when it is tracked and dis- 
covered or when it is pursued and caught, would not forget 
whatever other object he admired.* 

Although in many respects Xenophon's notions of make and 
shape coincided with ours, yet he must have possessed peculiar 
notions as to breeding, a cross between a dog and a fox being 
greatly esteemed. Babblers, skirters, and those hounds who, 
* abandoning the pursuit turned back from dislike of the hare, or 
from longing for the society of their master,* he drafted at once, 


48 Hunting on Foot. 

rightly considering that 'such dogs might disgust people with 
hunting who had a strong fancy for it.' 

* Hunting with the beagle/ says an ancient writer, * is a. 
pastime admirably adapted for ladies and gentlemen up in 
years ; indeed, there are few male persons of any activity who 
could not keep up with them.' 

Verily, there must have been giants in those days I Even in 
this age of perpetual youth, we doubt if there are many respect- 
able elderly ladies who could comfortably hold their own on 
foot over a country, say, in a four-mile point with a smart paclc 
of beagles. 

Although it is true that when beagles really run it requires a 
good man to keep up with them, yet on an average scenting- 
day, and by means if ndled be of a little judicious nicking and 
skirting, any one of tolerable activity can keep on good terms 
with the jpack. * How various are the motives that bring men 
to the covert-side;' and so we find that even in hunting the 
hare on foot, there are diversities of opinion amongst the field as> 
to the best methods of enjoying the chase. 

Some prefer to stand on the top of a hill or sit on a gate-^ 
post and *wait till the hare comes back to you,' which she 
certainly will do if you give her time, and if she is not run into- 
in the meanwhile. The man who really comes out to see hounds 
hunt, however, who delights in watching 

* The puzzling pack unravel, wile by wile, maze within maze,' 

will not be content unless he is with hounds from first to last,, 
even though the process entails a considerable amount of bodily 
fatigue and much detriment to his attire. 

Although the foot follower of hounds loses that most rap- 
turous phase of motion, ' the leap, the rise from the springy turf,, 
the rush through the buoyant air,' he is at all events saved the 
pangs that arise from a refusing or sticky performer, for the 
man on foot can go anywhere. He can penetrate through thick 
woodland and negotiate unjumpable goyles, and, inasmuch as 
he is not handicapped by a fidgety or fretful horse, has more 
leisure to observe the marvellous patience, instinct, perseverance,, 
scenting, and stoutness with which the good harrier unravels 
yard by yard, mile by mile, that cunning puzzle which the little 
brown beast ahead has set before the pack. 

Hunting with Basset hounds is a sport which does not, un- 
fortunately, come within the province of every one, inasmuch as 

Hunting on Foot. 49 

we find but three packs of these exceedingly handsome little 
hounds in England, the * Riversfield/ the Mursley, and the 
Marquis of Downshire's. 

This scarcity of packs may be partly accounted for by the 
fact that Bassets are considerably more difficult to get hold of^ 
and also more expensive than either beagles or harriers, and that 
in spite of their wonderful noses and indomitable powers of 
perseverance, the Basset, as his conformation would indicate, is a 
distinctly slow traveller, and usually take three, or even four,, 
hours to wear down the quarry. Indeed, hunting with Bassets 
rather fulfils the time-honoured notion of hare-hunting, ue.^ ' Put 
a bit of stick in the ground and start again next day I ' Open 
or moorland country is best suited to Basset hounds, stone walls 
and banks forming terrible obstacles to their progress, and I well 
remember that when hunting with Sir Edward Dunning's pack 
at Stoodleigh, it used to be a regular thing for the field to line 
up and give the hounds a friendly leg up over the big Devonshire 

The Devon and Somerset Staghounds 
probably possess the largest number of regular foot followers of 
any pack in England, and with good legs, a good heart, a know- 
ledge of the country, and a pair of field-glasses, it is possible to 
see a great deal of the actual hunting even on Exmoor. 

•The forest above and the coombe below, 
On a bright September mom, 
He's the soul of a clod who thanks not God 
That ever his body was bom.' 

And although it is not in human nature to refrain from a pang 
of envy, when the tufting over and the pack laid on to a gallop- 
ing four-year-old, the whole field sweeps by us, and we find 
ourselves alone — a solitary unit in a wide sea of heather and 
rank brown grass, with a seven-mile tramp in prospect, yet the 
charm which this land of Exmoor has for all outdoor people 
soon reasserts itself, and we begfuile the homeward journey by 
plaiming how to get to a still more distant meet on the morrow. 

On Foot with Foxhounds. 

• Fox-hunting on foot is but labour in vain,' quoth Egerton 

Warburton, but as there are many districts where it is impossible 

to reach harriers or beagles, it is for the foot sportsman often a 

dioice of this or staying at home. Here it is that the real ardour 

50 Oh an Irish Salmon River. 

for the chase comes in. The man who is determined to see 
something of hounds will see them, if he dies in the attempt ! 

Virtue, as a rule, is its own — and the only — reward which we 
get, but I can recall one instance of a man literally running 
himself into mounts — a very keen and impecunious friend, who, 
after following hounds on foot in all weathers and on every 
conceivable occasion, performing many kindly offices in the way 
of opening gates and catching loose horses, received a well- 
deserved reward in the shape of eighty-five free rides in one 

One more instance of virtue triumphant and I have done. It 
was with a fashionable pack of foxhounds, and a timid elderly 
Croesus was endeavouring to get a refractory thoroughbred over 
the uncompromising stake and bound that formed the only exit 
from the field. Trembling with mingled rage and fright, he at 
length climbed down, apostrophising the animal in the language 
of Mr. Jorrocks — ^ Til lead you, you nasty hugly brute,* when a 
well-known foot follower of the hunt appeared on the scene. 
'Let me ride him over for you, sir?' inquired 'Lazarus,' briskly. 
'Yes, and welcome, young man, and ride his tail off, too,' was the 
rejoinder ; * Til walk,* and walk he did — pink coat, top-boots and 
all — to the nearest railway station. 


By Edwin L. Arnold. 

[N icy wind, which would be cruel if it were not so 
invigorating, a background in the distance of many 
hills, the varied greenery of their sides laced here and 
there with a streak of silver snow, as reminder we are 
only emerging from winter; a foaming river clearing after a 
freshet and bounding joyously seaward as though it also were 
conscious the grip of dull times were past and a new season of 
light and life at hand — these are the surroundings of the early 
salmon-fisher when, once more a freeman of stream and lake, he 
goes down to try his luck in some well-remembered pools. ■ In 
Scotland sqch a rodsman, taking advantage of the very earliest 
moment to get to work, will probably be one who lives all the 
year by the water-side, for Scotch winters are long, and Souther- 

On an Irish Salmon River. 5 1 

ners will not believe the north country is a habitable place until 
there is new grass on the hills of Moray or Caithness, and the 
tourist booking offices are open again. But to many to speak 
of salmon in March implies the wildernesses of outer Ireland, 
districts where rivers are abundant, subscription rates for good 
stretches of water not prohibitive, accommodation amply suffi- 
cient for the man who does not expect to find a Grand Hotel 
in every strath, and, above all, the climate is apt to be more 
kindly than it is in the land of the tartans. 

For the early fisher who goes westward there is no hardship 
in the journey through England, nor in the short voyage across 
the Irish Sea, and from Dublin the railway takes him in four 
and a-half hours to Galway, where he has admirable fishing 
grounds to right and left. As a matter of fact, if his tastes are 
suburban and he can enjoy himself amongst bricks and mortar, 
he is actually on the spot already, and in the town fishery 
may try his luck upon five hundred yards of subscription water 
which has yielded fish up to 40 lbs. in weight, and before now 
sent a happy rodsman 132 salmon as the reward of a single 
week's work. But with all apologies to the good men of Galway 
town, the present writer must confess these records never yet 
drew him from the pursuit of the picturesque, the mountain air, 
and the wild freedom of untrammelled nature, which must surely 
be more than half the charm of angling to the true fisherman. 
If such a one will hurry through the excellent but somewhat 
dingy northern capital, and immerse himself in the seacoast 
wildernesses, he will find an abundance of streams, great and 
small — many, though of course not all, of which can be fished by 
reasonable payment He should have made some inquiries 
beforehand. For one thing, the commencement of the fishing 
season on different waters varies very widely. On this side of a 
parish one may wet a fly before the last January snow is off the 
ground, while on that one must wait to make a beginning until 
full July. The Moy, for instance, opens on the first day of 
February, the neighbouring Erne not for a month later; the 
Sligo and Loch Gill with the first day of the new year, the 
Foyle and its tributaries not until three months later, though 
their sources are within a few miles of each other. These 
peculiarities are due to the eccentricities of fishy migration, 
accentuated, no doubt, by other caprice of local opinion. Also, 
of course, a stranger should know something of the tastes of 
Irish salmon, whose fancies in the way of eatables vary as much 

52 Oh an Irish Salmon River. 

as their movements between salt and fresh water. At times 
they possess a divine, Arcadian simplicity of disposition, which 
brings them to almost any bait that can be put upon a hook, 
thus endearing them to the novice, who achieves baskets which 
older practitioners elsewhere would blush to talk of. At other 
times and places their obstinacy and niceness tempt the most 
experienced to throw gear and greenheart into the river, and 
forswear the craft in sheer bitterness of spirit But supposing 
the fisherman, having selected a good locality and fairly under- 
standing the waywardness of the salmon, finds himself by some 
lonely Galway stream this season, he may have sport which he 
could not better though he travelled to Canada or Norway for 
it. It is a wild country of swamp and mountain, most of the 
surface which is not heather or rock being water, either In the 
form of great lakes, or of rivers, generally short in course and 
rapid in current, joining them to the sea. In the lochs there is 
always sport of one kind or another ; but it is in the torrents, 
when a freshet allows the salmon to move upwards, that the 
angler has the fish brought as it were to his feet, and can get 
amongst them with the greatest certainty. 

It is a' wonderful experience that first rush of a clean salmon 
through the foam and steel- black shadows of some mountain 
pool, and the novice, experiencing it for the first time, can 
scarcely believe the dictum of old hands that, properly managed 
and fairly hooked, no salmon that ever swam in the seas can 
break away from a good rod and line. You have fished perhaps 
for half an hour without result, save that exercise and excite- 
ment have warmed you through, circulation has returned to 
benumbed fingers, and the deadly chill of the flood twining 
about your feet has become a matter of indifference. Your rod 
has grown handier during the last ten minutes, and the * gdid^ 
finch ' at the end of that gut that glints now and then in the low 
winter sunlight seems more amenable to your wishes. Yoq 
have tried a dozen likely places ; you try one no better than the 
others, the patch of still water behind the sodden, green-capped 
boulder, in mid-stream where the ouzel was scolding a moment 
ago, and as the fly drags back into the swirl the line checks — 
you are not quite certain, but you lift the rod-point instinctively, 
there is a moment's hesitation, and then hesitation no more! 
You are into him! lo, 15, 20 lbs., what does it matter? They 
are all alike for the first few moments, and if you be a 
novice an awful sensation of insignificance, a wild idea that the 

On an Irish Salmon River, 53 

iish IS the fisher, and you the fished, comes upon you with the 
thrill of that first rush. It will not come again, so endure ; keep 
your iron-studded heels well down into the shifting gravel, your 
line as tight as you dare, and when the initial plunge is over and 
you can take up a yard or two of silk, confidence comes with it 
and the fun has begun. It is a fine fight the salmon makes 
there in his own chosen haunts, and he fights far better in these 
early months of the year than later. Low down as you are, 
immersed nearly to your waist maybe in the swirl and spin of 
the torrent, every incident of the moment, every effort of the fish 
it borne in upon you with a reality that no other circumstances 
would present Hope and fear alternate throughout ; a 
hundred things may happen to dissolve the slender connection 
you have made with the monarch of the flood, chances that have 
nothing to do with your skill or tackle. In the wild expanse of 
water that goes up, foamy step by step, towards the distant 
hills, you are insignificant, your rod a reed, your line gossamer 
amongst the torrent-swept rocks that could part it at a touch. 
And at the other end of the line plunges a gleam of living 
silver, all fury and courage. No ! you do not feel the odds 
are all in your favour till the long fight presently slows down 
and leaves you breathless but victorious. What a fine prize it 
is, what a beautiful fish when at last it comes into the shallows 
where net or gaff end a memorable struggle ! The man who 
would not go a long way for such an episode and be content, 
though at the end of the day he approached nowhere near the 
great records of his forefathers on the same spot, is not to be 

As a matter of fact, this spirit of contentment is a valuable 
adjunct to the salmon-fisher's outfit. Just at present we are 
passing through a decade of lean years during which we have to 
rejoice over sport such as would once have been thought very 
indifferent. The fact is simple if explanations are many. Some 
attribute the decreased productiveness of almost all rivers to 
nets or poaching : others, amongst them excellent observers, to 
a long succession of dry seasons preventing migration and 
ruining spawning-beds. We can but be patient, and meanwhile 
nothing lessens the glamour of hill and stream-side ; the joy of 
the tumbling flood and the brown wastes, the glint of the last 
snow on the hills, and the shine of new grass in the hollows as 
we make the first casts of the season — surely these things are 
ideasant enough to the fisherman whether fish be many or few. 

( 54 ) 

By Fox Russell, 

'Author of * Cross-country Reminiscences^^ * The Haughtyshire Hunti ^c^ 

I HE great point is, shall we cross the railway line or 
travel half a mile up the road and go over the 
bridge ? I vote for the railway — it's the most direct 
way to Grinstead Church, and will give us two 
useful fences to jump — ^the posts and rails running on each side 
of the line — rather a bad landing on the metals, but that only 
adds to the fun, after all. There are very few trains — it is 
only a single branch line — and, to my mind, that bit of country 
always rides lighter than the line we should have to take if we 
crossed the bridge.* 

The speaker looked round the ante-room in which he and 
half-a-dozen brother officers were sitting, as though for ap- 
proval of his plan. A youthful subaltern took upon himself 
to reply, 

' I suppose we're all agreeable to that ? ' 

Then a long-legged man uncurled himself lazily from the 
.armchair in which he sat, and, reaching for a match to light his 
cigarette, addressed the first speaker. 

'Well, for an impromptu Point-to- Point race, I think 
Leslie's right. Across the railway line is the best, and gives us 
that brook to jump, which we should miss if we had to go round 
by the bridge.* 

* My dear Tommy,' chimed in another gallant Lancer, * that's 
a thing that really can't matter to you ; you don't suppose that 
antediluvian cow of yours — oh ! it's a horse, is it ? — sorry, mis- 
took it for something fresh from the dairy' (here the speaker 
dodged his head to avoid a deftly aimed sofa-cushion, hurled by 
the outraged owner of the * cow ') — * will ever get half as far as 
the railway ? And if he got to the brook, I think he'd stop 
there and bathe in it 1 ' 

* Well, cow or horse, he beats your Punchinello, wherever 
they finish, for a level pony,' returned the other, briskly. 

* That's a bet — two ponies, if you like.' 

* All right, put it down.' 

Two or three others laughingly began shouting odds of the 

A Near Thing. 55 

most fanciful description, when Captain Leslie's voice was again 
heard above the din. 

' Do shut up this beastly row, you fellows, and attend to 
settling the " 'orrid details," as the newsboys say. The course 
is to be from Payne's Farm — the field this side of the big brook 
to be the start — right across Bilden Hall Marshes and Famdale 
Meadows ; then over the railway, and on past Whitegate's Farm, 
ivhich you must leave on your left, across one more field to the 
church at Grinstead village. First past the steeple to win. 
Usual Point-to-Point conditions — mustn't open a gate, nor 
ride more than a hundred yards along a road, &c., &c.' 

* Are you going to ride your grey pony, Harter ? ' asked the 
long-l^ged man of his nearest neighbour. 

* Pony be hanged ! He's fifteen hands, and will be galloping 
on when most of the rest are wanting to lie down I* retorted the 
young man addressed, indignantly. 

The long-legged one laughed gently. 

*Well, when you come to the post-and-rails leading on to 
the railway you'd better get off and induce him to lie down, 
then you can pull him underneath the lower bar by the reins ! ' 

So the talk went on, and the betting grew in magnitude, 
until nearly midnight. 

Edward Glynde, a young lieutenant in the regiment, was 
probably the most deeply interested in the race of the whole of 
the^ company, he having a large bet on with Captain Leslie as 
to the result 

Leslie was running a horse, well known as the fastest 
galloper and best jumper which came out with the regimental 
Drag Hounds— a great raking chestnut, called Sadowa, with 
which he felt pretty certain of success. And, * barring accidents,' 
it certainly looked almost * odds on ' that the big horse, over a 
familiar country and under almost similar conditions — except 
that in the steeplechase, of course, hounds would be absent — 
would prove his superiority as decisively as he had often shown 
it in the hunting-field. 

And the bet alluded to between Glynde and himself arose in 
the following manner. When Glynde returned to barracks at 
the expiration of his winter leave, he had brought back a big, 
slashing brown five-year-old, with the idea of riding him with 
the Drag. But poor Glynde's luck was ' dead out,' as he himself 
expressed it, and at the end of a rattling three miles' spin to the 
check, the young horse, whilst leading and lying half-a-dozen 

56 A Near Thing. 

lengths in front of Leslie on Sadowa, failed to clear a stiflT post- 
and-rails and came down heavily. His rider escaped injury, but 
the horse was found to be badly lamed, in consequence of which 
his owner had had to rest him for ten days, and had done little 
but walking and trotting exercise with him ever since. 

* Hard luck, Glynde,' said Leslie at the time of the accident. 
* I'm afraid he won't do you another day's hunting all the rest 
of this season.' 

Glynde laughed. • Oh, yes ; he's got to get sound in time 
to win the Point-to- Point ! ' he said, cheerfully. 

Leslie, always keen for a bet, immediately exclaimed, * Well, 
I'll lay you twenty to one he doesn't do that ; and I'll lay ten to 
one my horse beats him, wherever the two may finish.* 

' That's a bet,' replied the younger man, ' if you'll make it 
1000 to 50 and 1000 to 100?' 

Leslie nodded ; then, as he booked tiie transaction, he said 
casually, ' I think you'll lose yotir money.' 

From that moment, Glynde devoted himself, as far as his 
military duties would allow, to the task of getting the equine 
invalid sound enough to run. By the way the young horse had 
galloped and jumped, on his solitary appearance with the Drag, 
his owner, an excellent horseman and a good judge, was pretty 
well satisfied that, fit and well. Banzai, as he had named him, 
would beat everything that could be started, except, perhaps, 
Sadowa ; and as hounds had been travelling at almost raeing 
pace for some distance at the time Banzai fell, and as the latter 
had been leading when the mishap occurred, he could see no 
insuperable reason why Sadowa should beat him in the race. 

A week before the contest was to take place, Glynde deemed 
it safe to give his horse the first strong work he had had since 
his accident. So he rode him a steady half-speed gallop of two 
miles on the training-ground, finishing up over a couple of 
the • made ' fences. Banzai pulled up perfectly sound, though 
sweating somewhat freely ; but his owner saw nothing alarming 
in that — the horse was naturally somewhat out of condition 
after his enforced idleness, but each succeeding day would 
see him fitter. And, being one of the light-fleshed sort, he was 
not in want of such severe work as would have been a gross 
feeder under similar circumstances. 

The race was set for Tuesday, in the second week of April, 
and on the Saturday previous to that, Glynde rode Banzai 
three miles over the fences, and the horse went resolutely to the 

A Near Thing. 57 

iinish, jumping everything in the style of an accomplished 

That night at mess, Edward Glynde, in response to a jesting 
inquiry of Leslie's concerning the * cripple/ laughed, and said : 

* Don't make too sure he tr a cripple. I give you all fair 
warning that he's going strong again now, without a trace of 
lameness that I can see. I rode him a three-mile gallop this 
afternoon, and he never went better in his life.' 

' 1*11 bet that big post-and-rails on to the railway line will put 
some of you fellows on the floor,' said fat Major O'RafTerty, 
whose * avoirdupois ' effectually prevented him from riding in 
the race. 

It was the one place Glynde feared for his horse : timber was 
just the class of obstacle Banzai had had very little practice at, 
and it was a post-and-rails which had brought him to grief with 
•the Drag. 

On the IbUowing afternoon, Glynde walked across the fields 
in order to inspect the place in tioestioh. The rails were stiff 
and almost new — ^the * take-off' up a slight slope, and the 
landing on the actual permanent way and metals of the railway 
line He determined that he must nurse his horse over the 
heavy 'going,* whilst crossing the marshes, and save him ais 
much as possible, so as to have plenty of steam left for tackling 
the rails. Knowing his horse's peculiar weakness, he did not 
fancy the appearance of them. 

It was an ugly place, at the best — and what with the take-off 
being slightly up-hill, and the landing on the metals, Glynde 
came to the conclusion that, in addition to plenty of care, he 
would also want plenty of luck to carry him safely over it. 

But Banzai was a fine natural jumper, and after his young 
owner had had a make-shift post-and-rails put up on the training 
ground, and lunged the five-year-old over them two or three 
times, with satisfactory results, his confidence was greatly 

The weather had been bright and fine for a week before the 
race — a most fortunate circumstance, as it ensured sound and 
light ' going.' Horses would be travelling on top of the ground, 
instead of ploughing their way through it — and in rainy weather 
these marshes sometimes rode fetlock deep. 

The day itself was all that could be desired — a bright sun 
and balmy south-west wind greatly conducing to the comfort of 
the numerous spectators, who had gathered together from far 

58 A Near Thing. 

and wide, at every vantage-point along the route, in order to see 
the sport. And, as is the case in nearly every steeplechase, the 
water-jump proved the attraction around which the people 
* most did congregate.' 

The competitors were all weighed out in excellent time- 
eleven good horses and good men eventually facing the starter, 
Payne's Farm was the venue — about two miles on the hither side 
of the railway line. The candidates were all marshalled into 
good order, and as soon as the flag fell, they raced away down 
the hundred-acre meadow to where it was intersected by a big^ 
quickset hedge, and over this Leslie's chestnut horse led. 
Going up the opposite slope, they were all in a cluster, but on 
reaching the bush fence, a little farther on, they b^^an to string 
but, and Leslie was followed over by the individual who had 
been addressed as * Tommy,' on the * cow,' a bay horse, curiously 
marked with white splashes. Glynde, on Banzai, was next^ 
whilst a clear interval of several lengths separated him from the 
rest. Streaming across Bilden Hall Marshes, jumping two or 
three of the big dykes en route, they soon entered on the tract 
of land known as Famdale Meadows. Here the obstacles came 
thickly, and Glynde was delighted to find that at every fence 
his horse's quickness gained him a material advantage. This 
was so markedly the case that, as they turned past the haystacks, 
which formed one of the boundaries of the course, and raced 
along towards the railway line, Banzai was already holding a 
very useful lead of his field, Leslie's horse some twenty lengths 
behind, being his immediate follower. Then, as the sound of a 
steam-whistle caught Glynde's ear, he remembered the necessity 
for ' taking a pull ' at his horse, and so husbanding his wind 
before tackling the formidable post-and-rails now just coming 
into view, ahead. Almost before he could take shorter hold of 
his reins, another blast of the steam-whistle attracted his 
attention, and he saw a long goods train stealing down the single 
line of metals. A sudden inspiration flashed across him : if he 
could reach the post-and-rails, jump it, and cross the metals just 
before the train steamed up, he would gain an enormous 
advantage over the rest, who would have to wait till the almost 
interminable line of goods waggons had crawled along out of the 
way, before they could cross. Not a moment was to be lost if 
he was to put this bold idea into execution — and altering all his 
plans with lightning rapidity, instead of restraining, he urged his 
horse on vigorously over the last hundred yards of the meadow, 

A Near Thtn^. 59 

and then, with set teeth, and a last hurried glance at the 
advancing train, caught his horse short by the head and charged 
the post-and-rails, which was the only thing separating him from 
the line. 

Gallantly Banzai rose at the formidable obstacle : for the 
space of a second the issue was doubtful, as the young horse 
was somewhat blown through being so sharply ridden ; but he 
just got over the top bar in safety, landing almost on one of the 
lines of metals — a slight stumble, as he tried to recover his 
balance, and the next moment he was down on his knees and 
nose, his rider being shot clean out of the saddle, right in the 
track of the approaching train. 

Although Glynde was uninjured by the upshot of his rash 
feat, the locomotive was so close to him at the moment of his 
fall, that he almost gave himself up for lost. But with the 
instinct of the practised steeplechase rider, accustomed to juggle 
with life and death, he did not attempt to rise to his feet, but 
rolled sharply over to the right, and just succeeded in getting 
-clear of the metals as the train rumbled and clanked on, past 

The whole of the rest of the competitors had pulled up some 
twenly yards from the line, and the riders sat on their panting 
horses, spell-bound with horror at the desperate peril of their 
comrade, whose daring plan they had all comprehended at a 
glance. But Comedy is oft found treading on the heels of her 
grim sister. Tragedy — and the danger overpast, the light-hearted . 
horsemen gave a cheer, and then it was once more a case of, 
** boots and saddles ! * and every man for himself. 

Fortunately for Glynde, Banzai had not got away. On 
seeing the train; the horse whipped round in an endeavour to 
bolt, but was brought up short against the high timber fencing, 
the railway : before he could decide which way to go, his owner 
had scrambled to his feet, and regained possession of the reins. 

The train past, Glynde was quickly into the saddle, and as 
he crossed the line — after a hurried look round at his com- 
panions — he was relieved to think that, although his hastily 
-executed expedient had not met with success, he was still left 
in, with a chance to win. Already, however, Leslie was over the 
post-and-rails, and trotting his horse across the metals. He 
must bestir himself and send Banzai along, or his most 
dangerous rival would certainly beat him now. 

Together they put their horses at the timber on the far side. 

6o A Near Thing. 

rising almost simultaneously and landing, in safety, beyond. 
Then came some ominous cracking sounds from behind them^ 
when they had got half-a-dozen lengths away, as *Toramy ' on the 
' cow ' smashed the top bar of the rails, thus making the way 
easy for the rest. Not heeding this, or, in fact, anything but the 
grim fight now lying before them. Glynde and Leslie settled 
themselves in their saddles for the final struggle. 

Up a long grass meadow they galloped steadily, neither 
venturing to try * cutting down * tactics with the other. A wattle- 
fence at the top end let them into a lane, which they jumped out 
of, into a ploughed field beyond. From the top of this they 
Could see not only the Grinstead Church spire, but Grinstead 
village itself. 

Divei^ing a little to the left, Leslie jumped a stile and 
galloped across a fallow field : then he rode along a hedgerow,, 
which lay in pretty direct line for the church, but with easier 
fences than were contained in the track ridden by his rivaL 
To these two was the race, bar accident, now virtually confined, 
for the rest of the candidates were a long way astern. Three 
rasping fences were n^otiated by the gallant Banzai, in safety^ 
and then, two fields from the winning-post (at which were the 
regimental Drag and a lai^e gathering of spectators), the two- 
competitors emerged into the same enclosure together, where they 
joined, racing side by side in a last splendid struggle for victory- 
Leslie was a length in front of his rival on jumping the final 
fence into the last field — but the young horse gradually 
overiiauled him as they approached the church spire. Banzai's 
head reached Leslie's girths, then his horse's shoulder, and then 
his head — ^he passed him, amid a storm of frenzied shouts, and^ 
with a supreme afibrt, galloped by the post, a winner of the 
Point-to- Point by a bare half-length. 

Edward Glynde's pluck had met with its reward. 

( 6i ) 

By Barnes Poole, 


SAY, old feller/ said the Hon. Paul Cochrane, com- 
monly called * Polly * Cochrane, addressing his friend 
and messmate, Tremayne, as the pair sat at break- 
fast in the former's room at Eton one fine morning 
during the week before Ascot, * I say, old feller, you recollect 
my telling you how my tutor nailed the " major " two years ago 
at Ascot, when he and three more drove there in one of Charlie 
Wise's traps, dressed as snobs of the period, don't you ? 

* Well, the good old major's just written to me from Knights- 
bridge Barracks saying he'll be down here to-day, and that 
we're to go and lunch with him at the " White Hart," at half- 
past one, to discuss the plan he's hit upon for paying off old 
Jacky for the liberty he took in getting him swished and turned 
down on that festive occasion. And what do you think the 
plan is ? You'll never guess. Why, I'm going dressed up as a 
lady — a lady of rank and fashion — my own sister, in fact, the 
Hon. Sybil Cochrane, and he's going to contrive so that I am 
to be introduced on the course to my tutor, who is perfectly 
certain to ride over, as usual, on his old chestnut gee, with 
the object of getting him not only to walk me about all over the 
course, but escort me back to Eton into the bargain. Isn't it a 
noble idea — a grand conception, eh ?' 

* I think it's simply superb,' agreed Tremayne. * The only^ 
objection,' he added, * that I can raise being that you've left me 
out of it. Hang it ! I want to go too, I do ! Can't I be a 
bosom friend, or a governess or companion, or something of that 
sort ? You certainly ought to have a sheep-dog of some sort.' 

'Well, that seems feasible, certainly,* replied Polly. 'Be- 
sides, I should like you to go too, old chap, if it can be 
arranged. However, we will discuss all that with the major 
over the duck and green peas when we see him at the " White 
Hart" to. day.' 

' Just one more slice of that ham, please, and then I must be 
of to Pupil Room, confound it I Meanwhile, " mum's the word " 
about Ascot— eh, Trim ? ' 

62 Tricking my Tutor. 

*"My honourable friend," as old Jacky would say,' replied 
Tremayne, otherwise ' Trim,' with much solemnity, * my lips 
are sealed on the subject until such time as may be agreed upoa 
between us to open them for the amusement of our fellow- 
workers *neath " Henr/s holy shade." ' 

And the necessary leave being obtained from their tutor, the 
Rev. Russell May, commonly called * Jacky,* the more readily, 
because the * major,' as Cochrane always called the gay young' 
cornet in the Blues who had bidden them to the feast had been 
one of his favourite pupils, our two young friends, the moment 
eleven o'clock school was over, hurried * up town * to the * White 
Hart,' outside of which hostelry they found their host in com- 
pany with one or two Guardsmen friends, quartered in Windsor, 
waiting to receive them. 

It was a lively luncheon party, as may be imagined, quite 
in keeping with the plot unfolded during its progress by Lord 
Crowhurst, the giver of the feast, with the view to the dis- 
comfiture of his old tutor on the forthcoming Cup Day at 
Ascot. Not that his late pupil bore that gentleman the slightest 
tll-will ; on the contrary, he had a very great regard for him, 
and would no more have thought of coming down to Eton 
without paying him a visit than flyiilg over the moon. 

For all that, the painful interview he and his three com- 
panions had with the head master in the library just this 
time last year, as a result of their visit to Ascot, still rankled 
in his bosom, and he had long made up his mind to be even 
with the Reverend Russell for being the cause of it. 

* I've my own opinion about flogging after a certain age,' said 
the noble lord, * and I can assure you fellows that if I hadn't 
known that my doing so would have necessitated expulsion from 
the school, and consequently militated against my getting my 
commission, I'd have seen old Goody blowed before I'd have 
" gone down " at his bidding. Why, dash it all,' exclaimed the 
youthful nobleman, twirling his very diminutive moustache in- 
dignantly as he spoke, * I had arrived at man's estate, don'tcher- 
know! Whilst as for Poppleton — poor old "Pop" got two 
birches, I remember, for pouring some fizz down old Jacky's 
neck when he wasn't looking — he was bearded like a bardl 
'' Pard " was it ? Oh, well, it's all the same.' 

And this was the plan of campaign arranged upon before this 
festive little luncheon party broke up. 

* Polly,' on the Thursday morning must be taken suddenly 

Tricking my Tutor. 65 

and unaccountably ill, so much so that an immediate appli-> 
cation for leave to ' stay out/ sent in to his tutor through the 
medium of the boys' maid, rendered extra sympathetic for the 
occasion by the gift of half-a-crown, was absolutely necessary. 
This being acceded to, as it was taken for granted it would be^ 
the invalid, having watched his tutor off to eleven-o'clock school, 
was to hurry up town to a milliner's shop on Castle Hill, there 
to undergo the necessary transformation from an Eton boy to a 
fashionably dressed damsel of the period. A carriage would be 
tn waiting, and, stepping into this, the pseudo Lady Sybil would 
drive off to the course, to an anchorage adjoining her brother's 
coach, on the box-seat of which she would await the arrival of 
Old Jacky, who, it was pretty safe to predict, was sure to avail 
himself of the invitation to luncheon he would receive that 
morning from his late pupil, the Viscount Crowhurst. 
« « « • « 

'And, if you'll excuse the liberty, a very pretty girl you 
make, sir.' 

' Yes, charmong indeed, and quite commyfo ! ' exclaimed 
Madame Celestine, in affected rapture, as she and her laughing 
assistants put the finishing touches to the elaborate toilette,, 
which had been in hand all the past week, and fitted oa 
religiously every other day, ' after four,' by its present wearer. 

And Madame's was no empty compliment, for not only 
were his personal charms enhanced by the addition of a 
wig, manufactured expressly for the occasion by a theatrical 
specialist from London, and quite a work of art in its way,, 
everything to be desired, but the fact of his being a very good 
natural actor as well (his rendering of Lydia Languish in a 
recent performance of She Stoops to Conquer at the Mathe- 
matical School, in aid of some local charity, was voted the 
success of the evening), in addition to being the lucky possessor 
of any amount of assurance, made his self-imposed task on the 
present occasion a comparatively easy one. 

If the stately, not to say disdainful, manner with which the 
Honourable Miss Cochrane stepped into the hired barouche in 
waiting was, to again quote Madame Celestine, 'as good as a 
play' to look on at, what about the particularly smart and 
perfectly mannered young footman, who, having assisted his 
young mistress into her seat, and touched his cockaded hat 
in most deferential manner, now stepped nimbly on to the 

VOL. xxiv, F 

64 Trkking my Tutor. 

Judging from the circumstance that, directly they were clear 
of the town, the Lady Sybil, addressing him familiarly as 
^Trimmy,' asked her footman if he had such a thing as a 
cigarette about him, the inference is that her ladyship's mess- 
mate and friend, Tremayne, finding his idea of masquerading as 
• Lady Sybil's sheepdog did not meet with approval, had, rather 
than be left out of the cast altogether, undertaken the less 
important part of lackey to her ladyship. 

* And I envy you, old boy, I can tell you,' observed his young- 
mistress, as she lit a cigarette, * for between you and me and 
the post, these petticoats of mine are a confounded nuisance.* 


* Oh, Cochrane and Tremayne want to stay out, do they ? ' 
observed the Rev. Russell May, as he read the writers' appli- 
cation for the same, handed to him by the boys* maid on his 
return from early school. * Poor fellows ! not dangerously ill, I 
hope ? ' he added with a grin. ' Well, well, I suppose I must say 
•" Yes," as usual.' 

* Young scamps ! ' muttered Jacky, as the handmaid took her 
departure with the good news. * If we don't all three meet on 
Ascot Heath this afternoon, I shall be more than surprised, 
in which case woe betide the pair of invalids. Now I think 
of it, I caught Crowhurst there on the Cup Day that year, 
after setting up the very same plea that his minor does 

* Ho, ho ! ' chuckled * my tutor,' as he proceeded to divest 
himself of his cap and gown preparatory to joining • my 
dame ' at breakfast ; ' my honourable friend little knows that 
this very morniqg I have received a note from his noble 
brother kindly inviting me to take luncheon with him on his 

' One of the nicest fellows I ever had in my house, Crow- 
hurst, and never forgets his old tutor,' wound up * Jacky ' as he 
bent his steps towards his dining-room. 

Of all the masters at Eton, the only pair, at that time, to 
which the term 'sporting' was applicable — so far as racing 
was concerned, at all events — were the Reverends Russell May 
and Johnny Old, both of whom made a point of riding over 
to Ascot every year as the Cup Day came round, the former 
mounted on a good-looking weight-carrying chestnut with a 

Tricking my Tutor. 65 

blaze face; his fellow-equestrian on a weedy thoroughbred of 
the same colour. 

Arrived on the course, after a pleasant canter through the 
Forest, it was the custom of this sporting pair to separate, 
the Rev. Johnny Old sticking to his horse, and contenting him- 
self with watching the racing from different parts of the course ; 
-whilst * Jacky,' giving the big chestnut in charge of some race- 
course habitu^y would prowl about on foot amongst the car- 
jriages, with a view to both luncheon and the pursuit of Eton 
"boys, some of whom were quite certain to be present, and 
ivhose capture at his hands afforded him infinite pleasure — far 
more so, indeed, than the racing, which he hardly troubled to 
^glance at 

On this occasion the pedagogue, on dismounting from his 
fiery steed, made straight for Lord Crowhurst's coach, his arrival 
.at which caused the liveliest satisfaction to that young noble- 
man and his friends, not forgetting his sister, the beautiful Lady 
Sybil, at the moment discussing lobster mayonnaise and cham- 
pagne-cup, with a keen sense of enjoyment, on the box-seat of 
lier brother's drag. 

Had Madame Celestine been present she would, indeed, 
liave said it was ' as good as a play ' to see the presentation of 
hb old tutor to Lady Sybil at the hands of Lord Crowhurst, 
and the becoming blush overspreading her ladyship's face as 
-she held out her daintily gloved hand to the Reverend Jacky. 

It would have amused that excellent modiste still more could 
she have seen that gentleman, looking as pleased as Punch the 
while, as, with Lady Sybil on his arm, he paraded the course 
^between the races, to the intense delight of Lord Crowhurst and 
liis friends, who were looking on with shrieks of laughter from 
the top of his coach ; or when, later on, after a second edition of 
-champagne^cup, Crowhurst's old tutor consented, without a 
moment's hesitation, to drive back to Eton with Lady Sybil, in 
-order that she might pay a hurried visit to her sick brother, 
leaving the redoubtable chestnut to be ridden back by one of 
my lord's grooms. The climax came when, arrived at Jacky's 
house, Lady Sybil, having been assisted to alight with some 
little difficulty — her ladyship's legs, no doubt owing to fatigue, 
being somewhat unsteady — was, at her request, escorted by the 
tutor straight to her brother's room, followed closely by the 
model footman, carrying her ladyship's race-glasses and other 
light paraphernalia. The poor boy wasn^t there, of course, and 

65 Veterans in the Hunting Field. 

his tutor, with many apologies to his fair charge for leaving her 
by herself, proceeded to go in search of him. 

* • • • • 

* Fm so sorry, my dear Lady Sybil, but I ' 

No wonder the sight which greeted *my tutor,' on his- 
return ten minutes after from a fruitless search for Cochrane 
effectively stopped his flow of words. For there, attired as 
usual, and laughing fit to kill themselves, were the two invalids^ 
whilst scattered about the room, just where each article had 
been thrown, was the discarded finery worn by the pretended 
Lady Sybil. 

* Cochrane — Tremayne — what does all this mean } * gasped 
their tutor, as soon as he could find his tongue. 

' Lady Sybil you mean, sir, don't you ? ' replied Polly, with 
another burst of laughter. 

The Reverend Jacky wanted to hear no more, but, fairly 
turning tail, bolted out of the room. 

* Polly, old boy,' said Tremayne, * I don't think we shall be 
put in the bill this time. What do you say ? * 

* I'm sure we shan't,' replied Polly. 


By Harold Macfarlane. 

HEN early in 1903, in the presence of the members 
of the Blencathra Hunt, the casket that contained 
all that was mortal of Mr. John Crozier, upon the 
lid of which reposed the deceased's hunting-cap and 
whip, together with the brush of the last fox killed by the 
hounds he loved, was carried to Threlkeld Churchyard, the title 
of doyen of M.F.H. passed to Mr. Robert Watson, the octo- 
genarian Master of the Carlow and Island Foxhounds, who, in 
the spring of 1904 resigned the Mastership after sixty years' 
experience as Master of a pack with which he first hunted about 
eighty years ago. 

Many tourists in the Lake District, who have walked from 
Keswick to Threlkeld by way of * under Latrig^,' must have 
passed the house of the then oldest Master of Foxhounds in the 
countr)% and have recognised from the terra-cotta statuettes of 

Veterans in the Hunting Field. 67 

bunting subjects on the gate-posts that the house was the resi- 
•dence of a keen sportsman. Mr. John Crozier, who at the time 
of his death was one of the very few enthusiastic hunters who 
•could say with the late Sir Wilfrid Lawson that they not only 
* kenned ' John Peel, but had hunted by his side, succeeded his 
father in 1839, and for sixty- four years directed the efforts of 
the Blencathra hounds among the dales and crags of Lakeland. 

Mr. Robert Watson, now in his eighty-eighth year, also 
followed in his father s footsteps (his parent died at the age of 
eighty-three), and assumed command of the forty-five couples 
of hounds comprising the Carlow and Island Hunt in 1845. 
The 'Grand Old Man of Foxhunting* seemingly bid fair to 
emulate Jeremiah Clifford, a farmer of County Limerick, who 
•died early in 1903 in his one hundred and eighth year, and who 
in the season of 1902-3 hunted with the foxhounds and helped 
to plant the crops that ripened several months after his death. 
It therefore came as a considerable shock to hunting men 
generally when his retirement was announced. 

Although the record of Mr. John Lawrence of Caerleon, who 
died in 1901, in the ninety-fourth year of his age, will be hard to 
beat, it is^^far from impossible that Mr. R. B. Podmore will 
eclipse it. Mr. Lawrence was born in 1807, ^"d> ^ ^^ smc-^ 
ceeded to the Mastership of the Cwmbran Harriers when about 
twenty, when he was presented with a leash of hounds, one 
worth 500/., that formed the nucleus of the pack, it follows that 
be enjoyed a career as Master of almost three-quarters of a 
-century. Mr. R. B. Podmore, whose pack comprises twelve 
-couples, although he was appointed Master at the early age of 
eight, and has been hunting them himself for some years, is still 
the youngest Master in England. Mr. Podmore, who must by 
now be at least thirteen years of age, has been especially 
fortunate in his first whip, whom he has many times had reason 
io commend. It should be mentioned that Mr. Podmore's 
father, Mr. E. B. Podmore, fills the afore-mentioned onerous 
post, and fills it too to the entire satisfaction of the Master. 

But for Master Podmore, the distinction of being the 
youngest * Master ' would belong to Lord de Clifford, who 
attained his twenty-second year last July. It must be men- 
tioned, however, that the Dalgan pack hunted by the youthful 
baron, who took over the Mastership when in his eighteenth 
year^ are bond^fide foxhounds ; consequently, strictly speaking, 
he can undoubtedly claim that the twenty-five couples which 

68 Veterans in the Hunting Field. 

hunt in County Galway two days a week are under the command 
of the youngest M.F.H. in the kingdom. 

In addition to Mr. W. de Sallis Folgate, who has hunted the 
thirty-nine couples comprising the Louth Foxhounds since 1860^ 
Viscount Portman, who has hunted his own pack for upwards 
of fifty-eight years, and Mn Wilson, who has been in command 
of the Oxenhoime Staghounds for thirty-six seasons, Eskdale 
and Ennerdale have seen Mr. Thomas Dobson in charge of the 
twelve couples forming the local pack since the early sixties* 
As compared to the records of the last-mentioned Nimrods, that 
of Viscount Galway, who was presented early in 1902, in the 
spacious market-place at Retford, Notts, with a pair of lai^e 
silver vases of the same desigfn as those given to the first Duke 
of Marlborough by Queen Anne, may not appear to be of much, 
moment ; nevertheless, a quarter of a centur>''s service as Master 
and huntsman of an important pack of hounds is one of which 
he may well be proud. 

When active preparations were being made in respect to the 
opening of the season of 1904, yet another veteran Master passed 
away in Mr. John Rigden of the Tickham Hunt (Kent). Mr. 
Rigden was only sixty-one years of age, but he had enjoyed 
thirty years* experience as Master, or five years more than Mr. S» 
Preston Rawnsley of Harrington Hall, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, who 
for a quarter of a century (to quote Lord Heneage), has hunted 
the Southwold pack with *the temper of an archangel.* 

It will, doubtless, be recalled, apropos of this pack, that the 
Rev. Edward Rawnsley, who followed the hounds in the saddle 
up to his eightieth year, died in his ninetieth year in the autumn 
of 1905. Needless to say, the last-named sporting parson was* 
in his lifetime the doyen of fox-hunting clerics, easily exceeding^ 
in years the record of the Rev. G. Maryon Wilson of Canfield^ 
who had ridden practically all his life with the Essex foxhounds, 
and who died a few months ago at the age of seventy-five. 

The accident that occurred to the veteran Tom Carr, the 
huntsman of the Bentley and Willenhall Harriers, in the spring; 
of 1904, when his horse stumbled in crossing a turnip-field, with 
the result that the enthusiast of seventy-four years was badl)r 
thrown, has not deterred other veterans of the chase turning out 
as usual. To describe Dr. E. M. Grace as a veteran, after the 
successful cricket season he enjoyed last summer, would perhaps 
be straining a point, though his sixty-four years almost qualify 
him to the honoured title. In addition to the Coroner- 

Veterans in the Hunting Field. 69 

cricketer, who was seen out with the Beaufort hounds recently, 
together with four other members of the family of Grace, there 
are, however, a number of other keen followers of foxhounds who 
still turn out, though accounted veterans, and among these is 
Mr. Edward Fawkes, a follower of Mr. G. W. Fitzwilliam*s pack. 
Mr. Fawkes, who, before many years have passed, will have 
qualified as a nonogenarian, has been decidedly conservative in 
his capacity of follower of hounds, as can be gathered from the 
fact that he has been associated with the Peterboro' pack for 
seventy odd seasons. 

Sportsmen are notorious for their longevity, and especially 
is this the case with the genus fox-hunter, who is continually 
being cited as a model to be copied by those who are strenuous 
in upholding the many hygienic advantages accruing from the 
pursuit of field sports. Only a few months ago we were reminded 
of this attribute of. the habitu^ of the hunting-field, when at a 
ripe old age Mr. James Paterson, who, with one break of three 
years in the * eighties,* hunted the Eskdale Foxhounds from 1855 
to the beginning of the season before last, succumbed to Anno 
Domini, and this instance of longevity is by no means unique. 

Mr. George Race, the Master and owner of the Biggleswade 
Harriers since 1840, has for many years been freely quoted as a 
veritable Methuselah of Sport, but the veteran has yet to harry 
many a hare ere he can claim to dispossess of his record Mr» 
Robert Abbot of Thimbleby, who at k meeting of the Hurworth 
Hounds at Amclifle, Yorks, at the beginning of the season of 
1904-5, on being congratulated upon his youthful vigour, that 
enabled him to hunt regularly at the mature age of ninety- 
eight, replied that his wife told him he rode like a young 'un of 
twenty-four, and he felt no more. 

Ninety-eight and still riding to hounds ! — such an announce- 
ment as this should make Mr. Needham of Grantham and * Old 
John' of Ashtead feel quite juvenile. 'Old John,' who is a 
youth of eighty-two, it should be mentioned, has been attached 
to the Surrey Union Foxhounds for over sixty years ; while Mr. 
Needham, who is rapidly approaching four-score years, attained 
no little notoriety a year or so ago by appearing at a meet of the 
Belvoir Hounds mounted on a cob thirty-five years of age, which 
he had ridden since it was seven years old. That the veterans 
of the hunt who are still in the field may have before them many 
pleasant years in the realms of sport will be the wish of all who 
seek health and recreation in a like manner. 

( 70 ) 

SIR BOBBY: A Sketch. 

By Finch Mason. 

J HEN the engagement of that eccentric young baronet, 
Sir Robert Baskerville, called by universal consent 
* Sir Bobby/ to Lydia, only child and heiress of 
Elijah B. Wigram, of Denver City, known all over 
* Yurrup ' as the * Oil King,' was announced, just when sundry 
unpleasant rumours were beginning to get about concerning his 
affairs, not altogether unconnected with the Bankruptcy Court, 
his own personal friends — and they were legion — exclaimed to 
a man, * Now we shall see what we shall see !' 

Despite the fact that he had only arrived at his majority, 
and the consequent possession of the family estates, together 
with a very large sum of ready money, which had accumulated 
during a long minority, some three years before, he had con- 
trived in that brief period to get himself talked about by virtue 
of his eccentricities to an extent calculated to create a feeling of 
envy in the bosom of many a notoriety-hunter double and treble 
his age. 

The papers, indeed— especially the halfpenny ones — were 
never tired of recounting his sayings and doings, especially the 
latter, for the benefit of an admiring public ; so much so that 
one smart young journalist was credited with having suggested 
to his editor that it might even be advisable to give the young 
baronet a column all to himself, headed 

* Sir Bobby, Day by Day.' 

* What the doose do these newspaper chaps mean by per- 
petually alluding to me in print as " eccentric ?"' said Sir Bobby 
to a friend at the club one day, pointing to a racy little par 
concerning himself as he spoke. 

•Sure I don't know,' was his reply, 'unless it is that you 
have a method of doing things unlike anybody else — are more 
original, in fact, than the generality of mortals.' 

* You Ve hit my character off to a T ! ' exclaimed Sir Bobby 


* " Origin^/, Origina/, 

Oh, yes, I'm the Original/** 

• Sir Bobby. 7 1 

I heard some old cock sing it in Madamt UArchiduc years ago, 
and it's been my motto ever since.' 

The wedding, which, partly on account of its splendour and 
wealth of flowers, and partly on account of the notoriety of the 
•contracting parties, was justly described by the entire press as 
one of the roost notable events of the London season, was duly 
solemnised at St. Geoi^e's, Hanover Square, the sacred edifice 
being craromed to suffocation by all the smart people in London, 
whilst outside, the happy pair were greeted both coming and 
going by such a crowd as is seldom seen at such functions. 

In a laudable desire to keep up his reputation for originality, 
the volatile Sir Bobby endeavoured to persuade the organist to 
substitute the celebrated air from Le Cheval de Bronze^ so famous 
to all pantomime-goers as that to which the king and queen 
invariably make their entr>% for the time-honoured Wedding 
March, a proposal which, needless to observe, the scandalised 
rector at once vetoed in his most peremptory manner. 

* Just fancy, my Lord,' exclaimed the latter, addressing the 
Bishop who had given his valuable assistance in tying the 
nuptial knot, *Just fancy what all right-minded people would 
have said had the bridegroom's insane wish been carried out» 
and the wedding party had come dancing down the aisle to 
that dreadful tune ! I use the word " dancing " advisedly,' con- 
tinued the good man, * for no other mode of progression would 
be possible, no matter how solemn the occasion. Do you not 
think so, my Lord V 

* Of course not,' assented the Bishop. * I know the effect it 
would have on me^ he added, humming the refrain of the 
fidgety air in question as he spoke. 

This project being knocked on the head, Sir Bobby had to 
<udgel his brains for another, and this being of a comparatively 
innocent description, was duly carried into execution. 

It was, that a small nephew of his own — his sister's only son, 
indeed — a dear little curly-headed chap of some four summers 
who was to enact the part of page to the bride, should * come 
on,' as he called itj as Cupid, with bow and arrow and quiver, 
wings and all complete. Had his uncle been allowed his own 
way — which, needless to say, he wasn't — the rest of the costume 
would have been left entirely to Dame Nature. As it was, 
-Cupid appeared habited in an elaborate dress of pink and white 
satin, with doublet and hose; and a very charming Cupid he 
made, you may be sure. 

72 Sir Bobby. 

The details of the wedding having been settled to the satis- 
faction of every one concerned, the next question was — ^where 
to spend the honeymoon. And this was a mystery. Half the 
country homes in England were offered for what is supposed to 
be the most halcyon period of one's existence, but one and all 
were declined with thanks, much to the several owners' astonish- 
ment. Failing these, no doubt it would be the Rhine, or the 
Italian Lakes, or Switzerland perhaps } Everybody was dying- 
with curiosity, but all to no purpose — the only one man who 
could have elucidated the mystery being Sir George Beauclerc^ 
Sir Bobby's best man. 

* What ! go and be bored to death in a country house 

obliged to go to church on Sunday and stared out of coun- 
tenance when we got there ! ' exclaimed Sir Bobby in his wrath. 
*Not me, George! No; Lyddy and I — she, dear girl, is as. 
unconventional — well, original, if you like — as your 'umble — 
intend to enjoy ourselves after our own fashion. To this end 
we mean to give my man and her maid a holiday, and merely 
taking with us a strapping country wench from my mother's 
kitchen to see to the cooking and so on, and a lad from the 
stables to look after the 'osses, clean the boots and knives and 
make himself generally useful, go roaming about the country in 
a caravan, just like a couple of gippos en route to a fair. Such 
a caravan I've had built, too ! Romany to a tick <7«/-side, and 
Buckingham Palace on ^ limited scale in. Picture to yourself 
in addition two old hunters of mine between the shafts and 
yours truly in his shirtsleeves on the box smoking a short clay 
pipe, and there you are, don't you know.' 

And when, after a spell of magnificent weather, the happy 
pair, on returning to their friends, declared that theirs had been 
an ideal honeymoon in every sense of the word, no one doubted 
their word for an instant. 

Having settled down at the family seat just before the 
shooting season set in. Sir Bobby was so quiet that people 
began to think that he had turned over a new leaf with his 
marriage, and had become a reformed character — not before it 
was time, as some of them averred. They were wrong, however^ 
as they would have been the first to acknowledge could they 
have overfieard a little conversation between Sir Bobby and his 
charming wife one night after dinner, soon after the b^inning* 
of the hunting season. 

* Lyddy, old girl,* said the Baronet, between the puffs of a. 

Sir Bobby. 75 

cigar, ' don't you think it about time we thought of something 
original to wake up the slowcoaches in these parts ? ' 

* Well, I*m quite agreeable, Bobby,' replied his consort, * pro* 
vided it's not of too outrageous a nature, you know. Has that 
very original mind of yours suggested anything to you, may I' 
ask ? ' she continued, laughingly. 

* Well, y^^y it has,' was the reply. * I believe, Lyddy — I really 
believe — that I have hit on a game which will not only be the 
talk of the county, but the whole of this Christian country as 
well — Ireland, Scotland, and Wales included. Now, a fancy 
dress ball is a common enough occurrence, isn't it ? Nothing 
novel about a fancy dress ball, now, is there } ' 

* Of course not,' assented his wife, wondering what was 
coming next. 

* So far, so good,' laughed her husband. * Now, what should 
you say, Lyd,' he went on, * if I suggested issuing an invitation 
to a hunt breakfast, every one to be in fancy dress — we'd mark 
that " imperative " on the invitation cards. Just fancy what a 
lark it would be ! Charles the Second, the Sultan of Turkey^ 
Richard the Third, Le Postilion de Lonjimeau, Queen Elizabeth,, 
and Di Vernon scattered all over the country ! Gad ! it hardly 
bears thinking about ! Why, the faces of the natives alone 
would be a sight in themselves. Mind you,' said Sir Bobby,. 
* I don't believe for a moment that the scheme would answer at 
all under ordinary circumstances, but the fact of my huntingf^ 
the country at my own — or rather ^^wr— expense naturally makes 
a difference, and I fancy, therefore, that most of the neighbours- 
with any gumption about 'em will enter into the spirit of the 
thing, con antore — what? Anyhow, there it is. What shall 
you go as, Lyddy ? Di Vernon for a pony ! or how about a 
Vivandifere ? You'll come in deuced handy if you have a little 
barrel of whisky and water slung round you.' 

* What will^^w be, you madman ?' inquired his laughing wife^ 
as she rose to go to the drawing-room. 

The result of this conversation was that cards of invitation 
to a Hunt Breakfast on the lines proposed were issued at once,, 
^d as may be imagined, caused a great sensation amongst the 
recipients, the idea not commending itself very highly to the 
senior members of the community, whilst, on the other hand, the 
boys and girls went into ecstasies over it, with the result that it 
was very soon, * What are you going as ? ' all over the place. 

Such a sight as that presented at the meet of Sir Robert 

74 Notes on Novelties. 

Baskerville's hounds, at Baskerville Hall, a fortnight hence, was 
surely never witnessed before, and will probably not be again, 
whilst the scene in the dining-room, where breakfast was laid 
out in magnificent style, was about as lively a one as could well 
3)e imagined. 

Sir Bobby and his wife, attired respectively as Frank 
Osbaldiston and Di Vernon, took the head of the table, whilst 
on every side were Grand Turks, Cavaliers, &c^ in picturesque 
<:onfusion, making the room ring again with their peals of 
laughter, as guest after guest arrived in different guise, the 
appearance of old Squire Ringbone elaborately got up as Ally 
Sloper fairly bringing down the house. 

But it was when the hounds found and got well away over 
the vale that the fun began in earnest 

How the Great Mogul got fixed up in a bullfinch, leaving the 
best part of his flowing robes, to say nothing of his turban, 
behind him when he did manage to extricate himself ; Charles 
the Second, looking the reverse of a merry monarch, as he went 
blobbing about in the wet plough in vain pursuit of his horse ; 
whilst poor Johnnie Sheepshanks, who, in a laudable desire to 
outdo everybody, had got himself up as a man in armour, and 
having parted company with his horse at an early stage of the 
run, lay kicking on his back on the greensward, unable to get 
4jp, are matters of history. 

Suffice it to say that it will be a very long while before the 
<jreat Fancy Dress Run, as it was called, will fade from the 
memories of those lucky enough to witness it 


ROM Messrs. Forests establishment issue some in- 
teresting novelties in the way of sporting prints. 
First of these to be noticed is a set of five steeple^ 
chasing subjects from the pencil of Mr. John Beer. 
They represent respectively last year's Grand Military at 
^andown, in which we recognise Royal Blaze, Prince Talleyrand^ 
Kirkby^ and other competitors taking the water jump. The First 
Steeplechase at Newbury, won by Eremon, who, with Thurifer^ 
E^tra Hacki Queen's Scholar, and Springmount, is seen also 

Notes on Novelties. 75 

negotiating the water, at which Clonard has come to grief.. 
The Ripley Steeplechase at Sandown^ wherein Brown Eyes^ Sun- 
turnip Bayona, &c, figure at one of the fences. The Molesey 
Steeplechase at Hurst Park, showing Judas, Cossack Post, Royal 
Rouge^ &c. ; and, lastly, Tlu Hurstpierpoint Hurdle Race at 
Plumpton^ won by Eastern Friars, who is leading from Risca //. 
and Old Windsor, 

Another excellent set of hunting subjects is that by Mr. 
George Wright, who, of late years, has succeeded in establishing 
a reputation as a sporting artist The four coloured plates 
represent The First of November, in which members of the hunt 
are seen jogging to the meet ; Breaking Cover, a spirited treat- 
ment of a typical scene ; Up a Tree, showing Reynard's last 
shift ; and, finally, After a Good Day — some followers of the 
hunt with the huntsman and tired pack refreshing at a wayside 
inn on their way home. 

Perhaps one of the best sets of hunting pictures published 
for some time is that by Mr. Goodwin Kilburne illustrating 
Conan Doyle's well-known hunting song, The Old Grey Fox. 
The six plates which constitute the set are printed in colour 
in exact facsimile of the originals, and are really beautiful pro- 
ductions, somewhat reminding one, in their old-fashioned 
character, of the late Randolph Caldecott. The spirit of the 
verses is admirably caught, and it is difiicult to express a pre^ 
ference for any one of the plates, as each has a charm of its own. 
If, however, we have a partiality, it is for the one in which 

* The member rode his thoroughbred, the doctor had the grey, 
The soldier led on a roan red, the sailor rode the bay. 
Squire was there on his Irish mare, and parson on the brown. 
And so we chased the old grey fox across the Hankley Down.' 

Still another publication is a set of four engravings of 
The Warwickshire Hunt, by Mr. G. D. Giles. These may be said 
to be the latest expression of hunting as it is seen to-day, with- 
out any of those fanciful incidents which so often spoil a good 
sporting picture. One feels that one is here looking at the real 
thing, and as faithful representations of the sport, these en- 
gravings will not only appeal to the members of the hunt, who 
will recognise familiar scenes and figures, but to all hunting 

j6 Notes on Novelties. 

men. The four subjects are entitled A Meet at Compton Vemey^ 
Getting away from Chesterton Wood, A Check at Kineton, and 
Killed in the Open below Burton Church. Mr. Giles will be 
remembered as the painter of similar pictures dealing with the 
Quontf the Pytchley, the Cottesmore, and the Cheshire Hunts, 
most of which are now out of print 

Sporting Nonsense Rhymes, by Finch Mason, published 
in album form by Webster & Co. (43 Dover Street, W.), 
-consists of some score of exceedingly humorous sketches 
illustrating as many verses, both being the work of this in- 
imitable artist Our readers are, of course, familiar with the 
breezy writing and characteristic drawing of Mr. Finch Mason, 
who has been a contributor to this magazine for well-nigh a 
quarter of a century. We can only recommend those who 
enjoy a good laugh to invest in this latest of his productions. 

Hunting and Shooting in Ceylon, by Harry Storey, just 
published by Longmans, Green & Co., is an interesting record of 
personal experiences in the domain of sport enjoyed by the 
author and his friends, during the last dozen years or so» in this 
fascinating island. Since Sir Samuel Baker's well-known book, 
With Rifle and Hound in Ceylon, we do not remember to have 
seen a work dealing with the subject so thoroughly — from the 
chase of the lordly elephant to that of the humble quail — ^and 
treated with so much interest as is the present contribution of 
Mr. Storey and his collaborators. 



By F. INSKIP Harrison. 

[HE prejudice against first foals has long since died 
away, but at one time it was so strong that in the 
event of a youngster failing to show any signs of 
promise, it was, as often as not, destroyed or given 
away. Very nearly was the latter the fate of Touchstone, the 
first foal of Banter, by that good horse Camel, and it was only 
failure to find a recipient that prevented his breeder, the Marquis 
-of Westminster, from parting with him. The record of Touch- 
stone's family on the female side was hardly promising, as it had 
hitherto failed to produce a classic winner. Touchstone was, 
however, destined to break the spell, and the way in which he 
•defeated Plenipotentiary and a big field of other good horses in 
the St. Leger of 1834 will never be forgotten. But Touchstone's 
deeds on the racecourse, good as they were, fade away before 
the record of his achievements at the stud. He sired no fewer 
than nine classic winners, of whom Newminster and Orlando are 
still carrying on the line strongly to this day, whilst another of 
his sons, Ithuriel, is responsible for the Musket branch of the 
family, of late so strongly in evidence. The Orlando branch at 
one time looked like dying out, but Count Schomberg, with 
Black Arrow, &c., has seemingly revived it. A good horse was 
•Orlando, but though his name appears on the list of Derby 
winners, he did not actually finish first for the race — that position 
being occupied by Running Rein, who was, however, afterwards 
proved to be a four-year old, and was disqualified in favour of 
Colonel Peel's horse. Retired to the stud, Orlando speedily 
4nade a name for himself, and three times headed the list of 

78 The Touchstone Dynasty. 

winning sires, being also four times second. Among his classic 
winners were Teddington (Derby), Fazzoletto (2000 Guineas)^ 
and Fitzroland (2000 Guineas), but the lines of these are non- 
existent in this country. We must look to Marsyas and the 
little-known Canary for a continuance of the line. Marsyas 
owed what success he achieved at the stud to his good fortune 
in having the Princess of Wales mated with him, as that mare 
was admirably adapted on blood to suit him. She was a 
daughter of Stockwell, thus supplying the successful Stockwell- 
Touchstone cross reversed. Moreover, ^she was a lineal de- 
scendant of his own granddam. Kite. Two of the produce of 
the alliance were George Frederick, winner of the Derby, and 
Albert Victor. George Frederick has now practically only the 
American horse, Diakka, to represent him at the stud in this 
country, whilst Albert Victor must mainly rely on Victor Wild. 
Canary, a little-known son of Orlando, is apparently in a 
stronger position, as out of Solon's dam he sired Xenophon, who 
in turn was the sire of Aughrim, the father of Count Schomberg. 
It is very easy to see why the latter, though regarded as un- 
fashionably bred, should have proved so successful both on the 
racecourse and at the stud. He is literally full of the Whalebone 
strains, seven of his eight great-grandparents being descendants 
of that horse, whilst he is a lineal descendant of Cast Steel,, 
ancestress of some of the stoutest horses in the Stud Book. 

The line of Ithuriel has been continued to the present 
generation through one channel only — that through Longbow 
and Toxophilite to Musket. 

Ithuriel was one of the best horses of his time, and was 
regarded as a model of what equine perfection should be. 
By Touchstone out of a grand-daughter of a sister to Rubens 
he combined the same blood as that which coursed through 
the veins of The Libel, Macaroni, and other good horses. 
His only classic winner was Iris (Oaks), a daughter of Miss 
Bowe. She was an own sister to Longbow, who, though he 
himself did not succeed in gaining such a distinction, won many 
good races for his owner, the fourteenth Earl of Derby. At the 
stud he sired Feu de Joie (winner of the Paks), Sagitta (winner 
of the 1000 Guineas), and Toxophilite (an own brothe^^ to 
Sagitta). These were his best representatives, and Feu de Joie, 
curiously enough, was bred like the other two. She was out of 
a daughter of Flatcatcher, whilst Sagitta and Toxophilite were 
out of a half-sister to Flatcatcher. 

The Touchstone Dynasty. 79 

Toxophilite followed in the footsteps of his predecessors by 
transmitting the abilities innate in him to but few of his produce, 
but in one son, Musket, they were strongly concentrated. 
Musket inherited to the full all the stamina which distinguished 
his paternal granddam. Legerdemain, and enabled her to win 
a Cesarewitch — and probably a better stayer has never trodden 
the turf. His expatriation to Australia was the cause of much 
regret among the more far-seeing minds ; but, that all things 
work to the common good, the history of the Turf during the 
past few years, in this respect, goes to prove. Had Musket not 
been exiled to Australia, The Mersey would never have been 
mated with him, nor Frailty, and so those two great horses, 
Carbine and Trenton, never have come into existence. Carbine 
was out of an imported mare of the purest English blood, but 
Trenton was the produce of an Australian-born matron. Hence 
Trenton's failure at the stud when sent to this country, for ex- 
perience has proved that only pure-bred English sires can get 
good stock out of the home mares. Carbine's case was different, 
both his sire and dam having been bred in England; He proved 
himself to be absolutely the best horse ever bred at the 
Antipodes, and his victory at five years of age in the Melbourne 
Cup, carrying 10 st. 5 lb., will never be forgotten. That the 
Duke of Portland imported him to this country in order to mate 
him with his numerous Galopin and St. Simon mares, is fairly 
well known, and also that it was the successes of Memoir and 
La Fldche (by St Simon out of a full sister in blood to Musket) 
that prompted him to take this step. It has never been satis- 
factorily explained, however, why the amalgamation of the 
Calopin and Musket strains should have proved so universally 
successful, and this I will proceed to do. Galopin, having both 
Blacklock at the top and bottom of his pedigree, may be taken 
as a true representative of that horse. Now, if the genealogical 
tree of the family to which Longbow (grandsire of Musket) 
belongs be carefully examined, it will be observed that in nearly 
all its successful representatives the blood of Blacklock is to be 
found. Take the classic winners of the family — Hippolyte 
(Oaks), Charles XH. (St. Leger), and Lonely (Oaks), and those 
members of it, Shuttle and Sweetmeat — which have sired classic 
winners. Hippolyte and Shuttle do not enter into the argument, 
as they were foaled before Blacklock came into existence, but 
Charles XH. was a grandson of Blacklock, whilst Sweetmeat 
was a grandson of Belinda, son of Blacklock, and Lonely a 

8o The Touchstone Dynasty. 

descendant of Easter, grand-daughter of Blacklock. The affinitjr 
between the family to which Longbow belongs and the Black- 
lock strains thus seems plainly evident, hence the success of the 
Musket Galopin amalgamation. Carbine, in addition, intro- 
duced on his dam's side a further reason why he should prove 
successful with Galopin mares, as he was descended in tail 
female from Martha Lynn, the dam of Voltigeur, grandsire of 

There now only remains the Newmirister branch of the 
Touchstone line to be dealt with in its many ramifications. 
Newminster was out of Beeswing, the famous Cup-winner, and 
was a low, lengthv horse, standing on short legs. That he in- 
herited the stamina of his dam was evidenced by his victory in 
the St. Leger of 1851, and most of his descendants have been 
renowned for this characteristic. His most famous son was 
Hermit, whose sensational victory in the Derby of 1867 brought 
ruin to the ill-fated Marquis of Hastings. At the stud Hermit 
carried literally all before him. Like many other good horses 
before him he started in rather unpromising fashion, in spite of 
the fact that his service fee at firist was the very low one of 20 
guineas. In 1874, however, his son, Holy Friar, performed so 
brilliantly that it was thought advisable the following year to 
raise his fee to 100 guineas. In 1880 he, for he first time,, 
headed the winning list of sires, and he occupied that position 
for six years successively. From 1881 to 1883 inclusive, his 
stock captured seven out of the fifteen classic races decided 
during that period. The best of his produce were St. Blaise 
(Derby), Shotover (Derby, 2000 Guineas), Thebais (1000- 
Guineas, Oaks), St. Marguerite (1000 Guineas), Lonely (OaksX. 
Peter (Royal Hunt Cup), "'Timothy (Ascot Gold Cup), Friars 
Balsam, Holy Friar, Queen Adelaide, Melanion, Alicante, 
Trappist, and Heaume. In view of all this it would seem ex- 
traordinary that now the sole hope of the continuance of his 
line in this country practically rests on Black Sand, but there is 
a reasonable explanation to hand. Most of his successful pro- 
duce were fillies, whilst of his sons several were expatriated 
abroad, notably St. Blaise and Melanion, and Heaume was bred 
and stood in France. Apart from this, for some peculiar reason,, 
the Hermit blood has always seemed to be most potent in its 
female representatives, as may be gauged from the fact that 
those successful sires, Gallinule, Amphion, Marco, Orion, &c» 
were all out of Hermit mares. The Hermit blood in tail male 

The Touchstone Dynasty. 8i 

has, however, kept itself right to the forefront in the steeple- 
chasing world, as a more marvellously successful sire of jumpers 
than the Blankney stallion's son, Ascetic, has never bg^n known. 
As mentioned, it would appear that Hermit must *ow rely on 
Black Sand for any possible revival of his line. He is by 
Melanion out of Sanda,and therefore a half-brother to the Derby 
winner, Sainfoin. His breeding is good enough for anything, 
his sire and dam combining in the two direct male lines the 
blood of Newminster's most famous sons, Hermit and Lord 
Clifden. The last-named's success as founder of a great equine 
dynasty has been, in contrast to Hermit's failure, really ex- 
traordinary. His blood in tail male has come down to us almost 
entirely through Hampton, though he had other famous sons in 
Wenlock (St. Leger), and Petrarch (2000 Guineas and SL 
Leger). Hampton ^yas got by Lord Clifden out of Lady 
Langden, subsequently the dam of a Derby winner in Sir Bevys. 
During his stud career he at first played second fiddle to 
Galopin, and subsequently to St. Simon, but sired no fewer than 
three Derby winners, Ayrshire, Ladas, and Merry Hampton. He 
was happy in the mares which were mated with him, as Atalanta 
(dam of A>Tshire) was a lineal descendant of an own sister to 
his grandsire, Newminster, and was otherwise suitable ; Illu- 
minata (dam of Ladas), belonged to the No. i family, of which 
blood he was literally full, whilst he descended in tail male from 
its most successful representative. Whalebone ; and Doll Tear- 
sheet (dam of Merry Hampton) introduced the blood of his 
great grand-dam, Queen Mary, close up in a prominent position 
in her pedigree. Hampton seems equally fortunate in his 
grandsons as in his sons — Ayrshire being represented by a 
really good horse in Robert le Diable, who is strongly inbred 
to the Newminster blood ; Merry Hampton by a superbly- 
bred horse in Pride; and Ladas by the St, Leger winner, 
Troutbeck, &c. 

( 82 ) 


By * Dragoon.' 

^HE putting of a question to the Prime Minister the 
other day reminded me of the existence of that 
hardy annual, the Spurious Sports Bill, I must 
confess that until that moment I had never thought 
of investigating the question, having been content to take the 
view that had generally been put before me, that the Bill was 
referable to the action of a handful of what the Americans call 
* cranks,' and its object the insertion of the thin end of a wedge 
which would ultimately put an end to all sport. 

On this occasion, however — I must apologise for being auto- 
biographical — the idea occurred to me that, on the face of it, it 
hardly seemed likely that a body of persons agitating with these 
views would obtain the support of any considerable number of 
the public, or even the approving word of a Premier. I have, 
therefore, made it my business to get such information as to the 
movement as has enabled me to consider it, I trust, impartially. 

I must begin by saying that — I am afraid I am still auto- 
biographical—of this so-called * stag-hunting ' I knew, at first 
"hand, nothing, or, at any rate, next to nothing. The immortal 
Jorrocks, we read, replied to the Lord Chancellor, who asked 
him if he had ever been out stag-hunting, that he had been 
once, and that he imagined no one in their senses would want 
to go out twice. (I quote from memory.) At the risk of falling 
into the category of the feeble-minded, I must confess that I 
have been out twice. The first time was with the Ripley 
Harriers, which then hunted a deer once a week. On this occa- 
sion a hind gave us a very good run. The second occasion was 
in Ireland, with the Ward Union — a pack which I believe an 
ancestor of mine founded — and we had another good run. 

1 must confess I did not find the amusement — it is hardly a 
sport, is it ? — worth repetition ; but certainly on neither of these 
occasions was there any incident to which one could take ex- 
ception. One thing happened, on the first occasion, which shows 
how easy it is for the uninitiated to estimate the condition of a 
red-deer. After 'soiling' in the river Wey, our hind stopped 
in a spinney ; and I for one imagined her bolt was shot. But 

spurious Sport. 8 3 

on a dismounted man approaching her, she went off as if just 
uncarted, and gave us a ver}' fast gallop of five or six miles over 
the Downs, being finally taken, quite satisfactorily, in an out- 

But if I am so poorly equipped in experience of * calf-hunting,' 
I have some knowledge of the chase of the deer. Three and 
thirty * warrantable stags ' have I seen set up in one season on 
Exmoor, and quite twice as many fallow deer have I seen taken 
in divers seasons in the New Forest. Of roedeer hunting I 
have published a book : so of that, too, I ought to know some- 
thing. I venture to thinlc an impartial investigator of * spurious 
sport' IS none the worse equipped for possessing such experience ; 
for, after all, it is against 'stag-hunting' that that agitation is 
principally directed. Few will be found to champion rabbit- 
coursing, or even pigeon-shooting. But the cause of the carted 
deer has been maintained by such men as Lord Ribblesdale, 
who, as the author of a book on the Royal Buckhounds, and 
an ex-Master thereof, must have been peculiarly qualified to 
judge of the merits of the case. But he dealt with the past, 
and we have to consider things as they stand at present. His 
contention amounts to this — that the Royal pack had a record 
absolutely devoid of intentional cruelty, and rarely soiled by 
unavoidable accident. 

Into the question of * mental agony ' he prefers not to enter. 
There is a school of naturalists, and even nature-lovers, who 
maintain that such feelings are foreign to animals — in proof 
whereof they adduce the fact that directly the animal has foiled 
its pursuers it will quietly commence to graze. Nor are in- 
stances wanting where a hunted fox has seized a hen or a duck 
whilst actually fleeing before hounds. Again, we have the 
instance of Mr. Nevill, whose deer used, after a run, to trot 
home with the hounds at his horse's heels. In the face of such 
evidence, it will be safer to leave theory and stick to fact. 

The case for the advocates of the Bill is contained in a 
pamphlet entitled Hunting the Carted Stag, with the sub-title 
Some Descriptions of a Spurious Sport. It must be admitted 
that this pamphlet contains painful reading; but it certainly is 
purely of the nature of an ex-parte statement, and contains no 
little ' special pleading.* It begins by quoting what Sir Robert 
Peel said in 1825. *You mustn't tell us what the soldier said,' 
temarked the Judge to Sam Weller, * it's not evidence.' In this 
case we are not told what Sir Robert Peel knew about carted- 

84 spurious Sport. 

deer hunting, but only that he saidy ' Before a stag-hunt took 
place they deprived the animal of his horns, which were, in fact, 
his only means of resistance against the twenty or thirty couples 
of dogs by which he was pursued, in consequence of which the 
poor animal must be worried to death, unless the huntsmen 
happened to be in time to save him by calling off the dogs.' 

Now, if the promoters of this movement agree with Sir 
Robert, all that they need do is to make the dishorning of stags 
illegal. But of course Peel's argument is nonsense, because this 
sort of hunting is not, and never has been, confined to stags. 
Indeed, one north-country pack almost invariably hunts haviers.*^ 
Another pack possessed hinds only, whilst most hunts turn out 
all three genders of red-deer indiscriminately. Fallow deer are 
rarely used except by harriers. 

The pamphlet goes on to quote the late and the present 
Sovereign of these realms—always a regrettable manoeuvre. It 
may be that Queen Victoria was strongly opposed to stag- 
hunting/ but she kept staghounds for sixty-three seasons ; and 
as for * the example set by the King in discontinuing the Royal 
Buckhounds,' there is absolutely no warrant for supposing that 
the discontinuance was intended as an example. Finally, the 
compilers quote the Field as saying that stag-hunting * stands 
on the same footing as bull and bear baiting.' We may ask : 
In what way ? Certainly not in law. Does the Field mean ta 
allege that the turning out of a carted deer, and its pursuit by 
hounds, is as equally certain to result in cruelty as the chaining of 
a bear to the stake and loosing savage dogs at it ? If not, what 
does it mean ? 

The rest of the pamphlet is taken up by the * descriptions'^ 
The first is * a revolting instance of the dastardly cruelty per- 
petrated under the wing of an aristocratic influence.* Our 
scribe has a noble * derangement of epitaphs ' here ; but as this 
word * aristocratic ' crops up several times in the publication under 
notice, is it impertinent to ask, * Why aristocratic ? ' The general 
impression was that the packs of hounds kept near London 
for the chase of carted deer were, and are, mostly maintained 
for the amusement of business men in the East and West End^ 
who * hunt from town,' and like to be sure of a run. Quite 
recently — I have not this year's list to refer to — the Master of 
one pack was a well-known City financier, and the Master of 
another the son of an equally well-known Oxford Street draper. 

♦ Castrated male red-deer. 

Spuriotis Sport. 85 

In fact, I doubt if any member of the aristocracy is connected 
with any of these packs, unless the term be applied to ennobled 
business men. But to return to our report. The writer has- 
no allegation of cruelty to make except that the deer showed- 
'signs of exhaustfon,' one of which was that 'her tongue was. 
lolling out/ Had he had a knowledge of stag-hunting, he 
would have known that the deer generally runs with its mouth 
open until it is exhausted, when it invariably goes with it 
shut. However, in the end, this hind followed the instinct of 
her kind, and went into the sea. No boat appears to have 
been available, and she was drowned. This certainly was most 
regrettable, but it involves no cruelty or injury to the deer. 
The extract ends with a peroration, in which the writer says 
of the deer, * They grow tame as pet dogs in captivity, and yet^ 
perhaps week by week, are made to suffer all the agonies of a 
desperate flight for life.* That the question of a deer's feelings^ 
is a doubtful one I have already explained, but what is certain 
is that no deer, I believe, runs every week. About twice a 
season, I believe, was the rule with the Royal Buckhounds. 

The second extract is from a lady's lett«r. She speaks of a 
stag being taken in the Lea * wounded,' and continues : * Shortly 
after its removal from the river the stag died ; it had three 
gashes in its chest.' One would like to know more of this in- 
cident. The gashes were very likely occasioned by barbed wire,, 
but what was the cause of death } It is possible that it had 
been impaled on some spiked railings. To these matters I shall 
return again. 

The third letter describes the taking of another 'wounded 

The fourth letter is from the well-known Mr. Stratton, but it 
has the drawback of being entirely based on hearsay. If the 
story is true it reflects great discredit on the hunt concerned. 
The deer was killed by the hounds, and a similar end ensued to 
the run described in the next article. This was also abominable,, 
and goes to show that carted deer should not be hunted except 
by hounds kept and trained for the purpose. Of course 
accidents happen with them at times, but these are less likely to 
occur than when, as on this occasion, harriers are used. Next we 
have an account of what was perhaps hardly worth describing,, 
a deer caught in an iron hurdle, the field not being up, and 
getting one nasty bite. The animal was duly saved and housed,, 
and the incident seems to show that staghounds are not as a 

•86 Spurious Sport. 

rule, inclined to hurt the deer. Indeed, in the next very long 
and circumstantial extract, the writer, Mr. J. M. Robertson, 
speaks of the * yelping, though not ferocious dogs,* and ends : 
^ It is but just to say that the dogs are not all dangerous.' He 
is certainly not a hunting man, for he imagines that the 
horn is blown to * hound dogs on,' instead of to call them off. 
The whole account is extraordinarily confused, and I confess I 
have failed to fit the facts correctly in my mind. Mr. Robertson 
says that the deer, *a doe,' (no doubt a hind), entered his 
grounds, nearly exhausted and bleeding from the mouth. This 
last statement occurs frequently in these descriptions, and 
puzzles me. No doubt one deer might break a blood-vessel, but 
not every deer Upon the whole I think scratches from hedges 
are probably referred to. Apparently Mr. Robertson, his wife, 
and a friend urged the hunt servants to call off the dogs, * but 
they persistently hounded the dogs on, by horn-blowing and 
otherwise.' No doubt they were really trying to get the hounds 
off. Finally the deer broke through a wire fence, tearing itself, 
but was secured and taken into an adjoining building, where 
it died — of exhaustion according to the pamphlet. Again, one 
would like the report of a post-mortem examination. 

The last letter describes three or four incidents of the present 
season with one metropolitan pack, which seems to be a very 
unfortunate or very badly managed one. First incident : deer 
hung up in a barbed-wire fence, and said to have been bitten there. 
When extricated, it died in the cart. Second incident : a deer, 
said to be lame, hunted, and taken after a short run. At an 
adjoining farmhouse it was * found* to be in such a bad plight 
that the Master gave the order for it to be killed.' This is 
certainly a very bad case, and one would like to hear more 
about it. 

The last two incidents are merely the safe taking of unin- 
jured deer, and one cannot quite understand why they are 
introduced into the pamphlet. 

Now, to sum up the evidence of which I have skimmed the 
-cream. The first thing that strikes one is that it is practically 
entirely confined to the neighbourhood of the metropolis ; the 
second that the almost invariable cause of accident is iron and 
wire fencing. Either the deer is * wounded ' by barbed wire, or 
hung up in wire or iron and bitten, or 'the horsemen had to 
make a d6tour,' no doubt on account of the line of the chase 
crossing villa gardens, or something of the sort. If one had 

spurious Sport. 87 

some evidence as to the packs which hunt really in the country^ 
such as the Oxenholme, it would be a very different thing ; but 
as none has ever, during the years that the agitation has lasted,. 
been produced, we are warranted in supposing that it is not 

Incidentally we also come on the fact that, as a rule, hounds 
which never hunt anything else but * the calf* are easily stopped 
from doing injury to their quarry, and even when they get away 
from the staff are not apt to do it injury. Thus Mr. Robertson 
says of a lady that * she ran down, hoping to save the animal from 
the dogs, which had surrounded and were leaping about it^ 
though not biting it.' 

Thirdly, we are driven to the conclusion that one metro- 
politan pack, from the doings of which the bulk of the above- 
quoted descriptions are taken, must be a distinctly mismanaged 
one. I will not give the name of this hunt, though it is freely 
named in the pamphlet, but I will say that I have the authority 
of Mr. George Greenwood, M.P., for the statement that it is 
resf)onsible for the death of six deer in three months ! 

As a hunting man of nearly half a century's standing, it is 
impossible for me to go against such evidence. I admit — for 
denial would be useless — that all hunting is cruel ; but there 
are certain compensations for the cruelty. I believe that carted- 
deer hunting under certain conditions may be perfectly humane. 
The case of Mr. Nevill, so often quoted, exemplifies what I 
mean. If a deer, accustomed, as it were, to the thing, is so little 
alarmed as to willingly trot back with the hounds at the end of 
the run, and the chase (save the mark !) takes place in really open 
and safe country, there is nothing whatever to be said against it. 
The fact that, even then, the deer may break its back or leg is 
nothing to the point : a horse may do that, or even a man. But 
this is a very different sort of thing to turning out a lame deer,, 
and worrying it to death in a quarter of an hour. 

As, however, we cannot discriminate between packs, or legally 
class districts as suburban, semi-suburban, or rural, for this 
purpose, we are driven to consider the Bill now before the 
public, and see whether this is likely to be a useful measure or 
not. It is a short one, merely containing four clauses in the first 
paragraph — the second only gives the short title of the Bill. Of 
these we only need go into two — that which makes the offence, 
that of any person who * takes part or assists in the hunting, 
coursing, or shooting of any animal which has, to his knowledge. 

S8 Spurious Sport. 

been kept in confinement, and is released for the purpose of such 
hunting, coursing, or shooting,' and that which says * this Act 
shall not apply to the hunting, coursing, or shooting of any 
animal which has been released one month before the day when 
such hunting, or coursing, or shooting takes place/ 

On the whole this Bill seems to me to cover the 
ground. Packs of staghounds hunting in closely populated 
countries cannot turn deer out a month beforehand with the 
slightest hope of their being useful, or even existent, when that 
period has elapsed. Packs hunting in really wild countries, 
where there are no foxhounds, can — and as a matter of fact do — 
do so. 

It is right, however, to consider in what way other sports 
would be affected. Rabbit - coursing would, of course, be 
regretted by no decent-minded person. There is perhaps less to 
be said against well-conducted pigeon-shooting. For instance 
take this case, one in which I myself have participated. One 
morning the inhabitants of a large pigeon-cot over the stables 
-of a country house find their usual means of exit closed. 
Presently a number of them are collected, carefully placed in a 
basket, and carted down to an adjoining field. Here from time 
to time some are taken out, placed in traps, released and fired at. 
Those that are hit, if not dead, are at once killed, whilst those 
that are missed go safely back to their usual home. I admit 
some escape wounded, but so do birds and beasts at every shoot. 
In this case the pigeon-loft is examined next morning, and any 
found injured are put out of pain. I confess I can see no more, 
perhaps less, cruelty herein than we find at an ordinary pheasant 
shoot, or grouse or partridge drive. 

But we read of great cruelties to which pigeon-shooting, at 
the less reputable public shoots, leads. By all means, then, let it 
go ; I shall not plead for it, nor I think will many others. It 
was the fashionable fad of an hour long since dead ; and polo 
is its much worthier successor. 

Lastly, we are told, by opponents of the Bill, that it is meant 
as a thin edge of the wedge ; and that if passed it will be extended 
to put an end to all sport. I do not see how this can be, but I 
think we can afford to take the risk. At all events I am pre- 
pared to vote for a candidate pledged to support the Bill, and I 
<lo not think any reader, however keen a hunting man, courser, 
or gunner he may be, will do his favourite sport any harm by 
saying as much. 

( 89 ) 


By Clifford Cordley. 

[LLUREMENT and deception are the primary 
attributes to success in fishing with rod and line. 
(We have nothing to do with netting ; for that is not 
sport) More fundamentally still, there is the loca- 
ting of the quarry — true sport consisting of both discovery and 
pursuit : then there follows the allurement ; and then the 
-deception — the playing, the killing, the creeling. 

Drawing a broad distinction between the action of head and 
of hand, we find that this deception is practically the mainspring 
of the rodman's art ; for, whether we employ natural baits (as 
fish, insects, or worms), or artificial baits, or lures (as flies, 
spinners, or spoons), around the hook must lurk speciousness — 
simulation — deception ; without which we might rise but could 
not retain our finny adversaries. By way of narrowing the scope 
of a vast and complicated theme, it is here specified that game 
fish alone and angling only with an artificial fly are dealt with, 
though that which applies to fly-fishing for salmon, trout, or 
grayling, applies equally to the combating of shad, chub, or 
dace, with a confection of fur, feather, silk and tinsel. 

First we will take the salmon, because he is the king of fresh- 
water fishes — if not the monarch of all waters. 

With regard to this regal quarry, one hears and reads much 
fanciful and fallacious nonsense — particularly is respect of flies. 
Coming to bed-rock fact, we shall find that ten per cent, of the 
hundred and more of * standard * salmon patterns will ordinarily 
do the trick. Colour and size (especially size) must depend 
upon the volume, the hue, and the swiftness of the stream ; and, 
no doubt, a titillating of the fastidious palate is sometimes 
necessary, a varying of the menu. But when * Jock Scott ' will not 
'butcher' the fish, nor 'Thunder and Lightning* strike the 
• Black Dose* into their jaws, the angler may as well throw his 
portmanteau-like fly-book into the river (or, better still, go home 
-and wait until the clouds roll by), as keep on changing his 
lure and striving to tempt a fickle fish which is not just then 

90 Fishing Facts^ Fancies, and Fallacies, 

feeding, or frolicking, or snip-snapping, according to whatever 
theory is taught by our favourite salmonic school. 

Why these vagaries of rising and non-rising ? Possibly, the 
fish are affected by those mysterious atmospheric and electrical 
influences which control the arcanum of scent. The true and 
full answer cannot be given by any angler or man of science 

Then as to the rodman's conduct, after he has induced his 
fish to rise and sport and take the fly — as to striking, or 
hooking, that is. When they entangle themselves with some of 
the many barbs of an artificial minnow, salmon hook themselves 
or, failing entanglement, incontinently hook it. 

But it is said that there are rivers upon which the fish * will 
not look at a fly,* and, therefore, have to be minnowed — because, 
probably, they have never been given the chance of rising to the 
sportsmanlike lure. Let that pass. These lines, as I have 
said, are addressed to the fly-fisherman. 

Never to strike a salmon, but to allow it to hook itself, is the 
creed of one school of salmon-anglers ; and to let the fish have 
it as hard as possible is the creed and usage of another. Some 
practical fishermen unite the two methods. They never strike a 
salmon ; but when they find the fish is on, they give a couple 
of good hard tugs. They believe that if the hook has not gone 
in over the barb, these pulls will secure proper penetration ; but 
if the fish is lightly hooked, they will be well rid of it. 

Striking upwards, striking laterally, striking from the reel,, 
especially with double hooks, striking with the finger 
on the line : all these methods have their advocates, and their 
opponents. Much depends upon circumstances — wind, weather, 
water, and tackle, and the size of the quarry. But it seems to be 
generally admitted that it is wrong to strike at a rise in swift 
water, save when it is felt that the fish has grappled. Unless 
the line tightens, to strike is failure to the roditian and escape 
for the salmon. The line should be recovered, and the fly^ 
worked on without alteration of speed, and with jerking, and 
sufficient interval be allowed before the fish is tried again. 

If a mere elevation of the rod be called striking, th^n striking 
in a stream is necessary : but it is more reasonable to regard 
this action as nothing more than a tightening of the line. If 
the fish so hooked remains on, it may be advisable to give a tug 
or tugs in hopes of driving home the barb. But if a small fly 
be employed, it is probably wrong to do anything beyond 

Fishing Facts, Fancies, and Fallacies. 9 1 

raising the point of the rod, inasmuch as the thin wire of a small 
hook cuts more easily than does the thicker metal of a large 
one, and, as every salmon-angler knows what a hole is often 
worn in the fish's mouth by the hamate fly, anything tending to 
increase the size of the orifice should be avoided. If, however, a 
large fly be on, it is probable that a good pull will do more good 
than harm. 

There are those anglers who assert that a rupture is 
inevitable if the finger be kept on the line at the moment of 
striking. This may be so, if the strike be heavy or excessive ; 
but there is little danger if the rod be raised promptly, con- 
cisely, but steadily. A fisherman, who has killed hundreds of 
salmon, always strikes thus in a stream, with his line on the 
finger, and he asserts that he has never but thrice been broken 
when thus striking, and that in each case of breakage his tackle 
was faulty. 

So much for streamy, rapid, broken, or torrential waters. It 
must be obvious that different tactics must be employed when 
sluggish, still, or dead water is being fished. Under such con- 
ditions, some anglers allow the fly to circulate, and do not 
gather in any line until they are preparing for a fresh throw ; 
others keep pulling in the line continually as the fly revolves. 
After many casts, the critical moment arrives. There is a 
turmoil in the water, and the head and shoulders of a massive 
fish are plainly visible ; or there is a little whirlpool, where the 
lure is judged to be ; or, best of all, the line straightens and 
remains tense. If the last-mentioned be the case, do not stay 
to theorise or think upon postulate or precedent : up with the 
point, and, with a large fly, point hard. When the swirl is seen, 
it is probable that time has already been wasted. Strike, then, 
on the presumptive off'-chance, and strike vigorously. 

As to what should be done when the fish shows himself, no 
definite advice can be given : probably nerve or inspiration will 
decide. When a wave is seen behind the fly» let the fly proceed, 
fly-like. If the fish be in earnest, a moment will come when 
the angler will know by intuition that the quarry means business. 
Then give it to him generously, and, if one hand be on the line, 
elevate the rod smartly, or turn it laterally (vertically being 
preferable), and, at the same moment, pull in a little line 
quickly, and thus drive the steel home. 

Whether it is better to strike a salmon as it rises to the 
fly with a free reel or with a tight line is a question upon which 

92 Fishing Facts, Fancies, and Fallacies. 

expert opinion is divided. There are experienced anglers who 
are ardent advocates of both methods. Without discriminating 
these two classes, we proceed. 

Fishing with a short line and in a rapid current, the angler 
finds that the slightest turn of the wrist, with or without free 
reel, is sufficient to clutch firmly a salmon. A fish that takes 
the fly under water without showing himself, and signifies the 
attachment by a sharp pull, requires little further pressure. A 
young angler who sees a fish splash within a dozen yards of the 
point of his rod, and feels a tug, or even a touch or mouthing, 
at the same time, will often lose his head (and his fish) by 
striking so vigorously as to endanger rod, line, and gut. The 
only possible balance to his indiscretion is the reel ; for if the 
line is stopped, a catastrophe is inevitable. 

When fishing with a long line, and in comparatively slack 
water, the position is different. The fish is felt very lightly, 
even if he takes the fly with ardour ; but more generally, the 
break in the water is the only indication of concurrence. 
Then, the force required to drive home the barbed hook is far 
greater than that which is demanded at close quarters and in a 
rapid stream. The stroke must be sufficiently vigorous to 
counterbalance the resistance of the extended line. 

The first condition to killing a hooked fish is to get him 
under control. With a long line this is difficult, but the yielding 
winch, which in striking adds yards to the length, aggravates 
the difficulty. The line, firmly stopped by the fingers, obviates 
this, and the sharper stroke enables the fisherman to get on 
equal terms with his quarry all the sooner. 

In order to rise and hook salmon, long casting is frequently 
necessary. In summer fishing, when the water is very low and 
bright, and the finest flies and tackle are required, the most suc- 
cessful anglers are those who keep well back from the pools and 
catches, and throw a long line with a light hand. In shallow 
water, a fish can see a considerable distance (mainly forwards) 
as he rises towards the surface of the stream ; and there are 
times, when he is taking or about to take the fly, that the 
shadow of boat, angler, or attendant will put him down. 

Most of this long casting is effected by the unreeling of a 
quantity of line from the winch, and then shooting it through the 
rings ; but as there is always more or less loose line in the 
angler's hand, striking from the reel is then impossible. A 
salmon-fisherman, therefore, who has not schooled himself to 

Fishing Facts y Fancies, and Fallacies. 93 

strike gently with a tight line, must study to acquire that mode 
of procedure. 

Both the free-winch method of striking and, indeed, any 
fashion of striking are condemned by some instructors, who 
counsel the holding of a tight line, and the leaving it to the fish 
to hook himself. At close quarters that may be very well, but 
with a long line, which in the hands of the most accomplished 
anist will become slack and sagged, one can hardly see how the 
fish will then have sufficient fulcrum to hook himself, except 
very lightly ; and the ease and rapidity with which a slightly 
hooked salmon can and does free himself are so well known 
that it would be heartless to dwell upon them. 

Finally, in this — the premier — department, we must never 
forget such fighting and winning details as the suitably staining 
of gut and even colouring of reel-line, together with the all- 
important desideratum of having sound, good, and true cast or 
collar. A shilling saved in gut will probably mean a sovereign 
or more lost in salmon. 

Next we come to trout, which fascinating fish are to Se" 
caught, by the duly qualified, with live flies (as blue-bottles and, . 
particulariy, the May-fly or Drake), artificial flies, fern-webs, 
maggots, grubs, caddis, worms, and other baits or lures — 
provided always due care, precaution, and dexterity be 
employed. As previously indicated, there is nothing here 
about the vermicular method, which may be sportsmanlike,, 
especially in clear water ; or about spinning the minnow, which- 
also may be sportsmanlike under similar conditions. Trout are: 
not superabundant in British waters. Let us play lightly, there- 
fore, and keep to fly-fishing. 

As regards the two diverse and converse systems of fishing 
on the surface or below it — the method of the dry-fly or the 
wet- fly angler— let it be said that as to the system of the 
former, which is artistically and in every "w^y facile princepSy 
that thb is neither a book nor even a pamphlet Pass— pass 
with honours, O dry-fly fisherman ! Your procedure is approved, 
but space does not permit of description, chronicling, laudation, 
and full-length portraiture. 

Touching, then, wet-flying for trout, I proceed with some 
tentative, suggestive thoughts ; barring the * chuck-and-chance- 
it' comment of the artist in excelsis; for it is easy to 'chuck' 

94 Fishing Facts, Fancies, and Fallacies. 

without any 'chance* or possibility of seducing Fario, unless 
you * chuck * with discretion and knowledge. 

As to trout flies: here again we encounter fancies and 
fallacies. One hears of hundreds of flies, a mere tithe, or less, 
of which can be relied upon to kill under given circumstances of 
wind, weather, water, sunlight, and season. 

Let us examine this position. 

As with the dry-fly performer, so, in a lesser degree, with the 
wet. It is well to copy nature — if you can. In theory, the 
accurate simulation of the fly on the water is as correct as it is 
beautiful and lovely. But how to achieve that consummation 
devoutly to be wished ? What is the fly on the water ? What 
water ? When ? At what hour ? At what season of the year? 
Under what conditions of locality, temperature, entourage? 
How can you stock a poor imitation of one phase of the multi- 
mutable face of the ever- variable ? 

An artificial fly, however well dressed, whether in a shop or 
by the angler himself, is regarded by the human eye from above : 
it is criticised from below by the vision, much keener, though 
more limited, of the watchful trout, and presents, beneath, a 
most different appearance. 

Nor must we overlook the gracious fact that trout are 
virtually omnivorous. Crouch upon a plank bridge, with 
interstices, above a stream. Observe the fish, congregated 
below. Drop (you being unseen — which is everything) morsels 
of bread, of worms, of cheese, yea, of leaves, or sticks, or of 
rubbish. The trout will mouth, though subsequently rejecting, 
all that you offer. 

Whence I argue that they are not so primarily discriminative 
as we sometimes suppose : that practically any fly, properly put 
before them, will allure and take them, the angler playing the 
game as it should be played. 

These trout under the bridge — unaware of the presence 
of the human foe — are comparable with the unsophisticated 
primal fish of unflogged streams, say, in the backwoods of 
America — as they once were. I am told that there was a time 
when these unworried trout would take freely a feather, or even 
a blossom. I can quite believe it. Do not let us be fly-bitten. 

Take something comparatively simple and easy. Take a 
March Brown. You will buy, from shops, a dozen March 
Browns, all dressed slightly differently (and that slightly is 
everything, if the fly theory is correct) — each an infallible killer; 

Fishing Facts, Fancies^ and Fallacies. 95 

and with each of these mortally infallibles, a dozen different 
good men will or will not kill trout. Furthermore, on the same 
stream, and under apparently similar conditions, other men — no 
better — employing Redspinner, February Red, Blue Dun, or 
what not (all more or less according to pattern or otherwise) will 
also be killing or not killing fish of the Fario family. 

The secret of success in trout-fishing lies in the mode of 
attack, which is secretive — in allurement and deception. On 
small waters, stoop, kneel, crawl, lie prostrate, take ambush be- 
hind every screen — even a thistle, and approach and assault up- 
wards. On big rivers, wherein one wades, keep ever behind and 
below. Always let the deceptive lure be presented to the sharp 
eyes of the trout before the obtrusion of the angler's gerson, 
costume, gear, or shadow. It is surprising and delightful how 
boldly a fish will take a fly — practically any fly — at close 
quarters, provided nothing but that fly be seen by the said fish. 

We have thus, perhaps, disposed of much fanciful fallacy in 
the matter of flies — and indirectly of long-casting — much 
belauded. 'Fine 'is good. 'Far off' is mainly unnecessary, 
or may be. Vide supra. 

Though the preceding remarks are largely inspired by many 
years** experience gained upon small and rapid (torrential) 
streams, and in the springtime, they will, I have reason to 
believe, be found applicable to large and even sluggish waters 
throughout the trouting season — so far as angling with the wet 
fly is concerned. And with all sympathy with and respect for 
the purveyors and purchasers of innumerable artificial trout- 
flies — imitation and intended imitations of Nature, as also 
* fancies ' — I beg leave to assert that twelve lures, or less, will 
kill trout, all the season through, everywhere, and under all 
variations of wind, weather, and water — if any confections will. 

Every fisherman has heard of certain 'killers' for certain 
loughs, lochs, lyns, lakes, rivers, or rivulets — as, for example, the 
Welsh Coch-y-bonddu (a lovely fly) ; the Devonshire Blue Up- 
right, and the Brown Cob of the Wye. These local * specials,' 
are all variants of some winged insect. 

But, attacking properly and obtruding them duly, the 
following will kill always and on all waters : Spiders, or plain 
hackles, mainly composed of partridge, snipe, or woodcock 
feathers, with red, blue, brown, or rusty dressing ; Redspinner, 
Yellow Dun, Iron Blue, Alder, Gravel-bed, Grannum, Palmers, 
Gnats, and Coachman. 

96 More Leaves from an Old Sketch Book. 

I had designed some remarks upon the ladylike grayling, 
but my space is filled. Perhaps towards autumn I may be 
permitted to proceed. Meanwhile, I conclude with the remark 
that it is the man behind the rod (and the fish) that scores — not 
the fly. Ars est celare artem. 



By Finch Mason. 

Jut shooting one day in my * salad days/ on rather 
hilly ground, my host, who was not so young as he used 
to was, exclaimed regretfully as he leaned heavily 
on my arm, * Damn " Old." my boy, damn " Old ! " ' 
I feel strongly induced to use the same expression as opening", 
with a certain amount of fear and tremulation, my tell-taJe 
book, I glance over its venerable contents. On the very first 
page, for instance, I am confronted by a sketch of Blai$ Athol 
winning the Derby, the first I ever saw, and in consequence as 
green in my memory as if it had been run yesterday : so much 
so indeed, that I can hardly realise it was so long ago as 1864. 
Yes, Aldcroft of the long whiskers is just bri nging up the faint- 
hearted General Peel with one of those rushes for which he is so 
famous, but all to no purpose, Blair Athol's blaze face being 
bang in front all the way up the straight, and keeping there, 
whilst behind the pair are such a field of horses, as regards 
quality, as are seldom seen all together in a classic race — 
Scottish Chief, Ely, and Cambuscan — any one of them good 
enough to win nine Derbies out of ten. 

Amongst other celebrities present, a short, thick - set, 
swarthy gentleman with bushy eyebrows, and scrubby grey- 
moustache -and whiskers, smartly attired in a tight-fitting grey- 
suit, talking earnestly to Cambuscan's trainer and jockey just 
before the race, was pointed out to me as Captain John White, 
manager of Lord Stamford's horses, and one of the best and 
hardest riders of his day across Leicestershire. How times are 
altered ! During the Derby week in question, as I found by 
personal experience, not a bed was to be obtained in the West 

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su'pagt I 

More Leaves from an Old Sketch Book, 97 

End. Nowadays in seems to be regarded quite in the light of an 
eveiy-day occurrence, judging by the general languor which 

The next page takes my memory back to the Chester 
meeting of 1866. A sketch of the Marquis of Hastings, with a 
tiny cigarette in his mouth, surrounded by a mob of bookies, 
with whom he is booking bets indiscriminately with the air of 
nonchalance he could so well assume, recalls the fact that he 
had a red-hot favourite for the Cup in Redcap, ridden by Tom 
Cannon, then a rising lightweight, but who was destined to 
defeat at the instance of Dalby, who had won the previous 
year. His owner, one Bennett, won a large stake on both these 
occasions, after which his good luck seems to have deserted him, 
the last heard of him being that he was conducting a 'bus, by 
way of a livelihood. 

In a sketch of the Stewards* stand, there is no difficulty in 
recognising the homely figure of Sir Watkin Wynn ; whilst next 
to him, with a scarlet geranium in his coat, surveying the scene 
in his usual jaunty manner, is his friend, Tom Drake, a standing 
dish at Wynnstay during the Chester race week. 

It is not a far cry to Liverpool, so it is quite in the order of 
things that the next page should be devoted to the Grand 
National, the first I ever witnessed, won by Alcibiade, ridden 
by Captain ' Coventry, after a tremendous set-to with Hall 
Court, steered by Captain Tempest. A lot of good horses 
were behind them, notably L'Africaine, supposed to be the 
best steeplechaser in existence. There it was that I set eyes 
for the first time on the popular gentleman rider known as 
Mr. Thomas, happily still among us, well and hearty in spite 
of the dreadful fall he received at Sandown when riding 
on the flat, some twenty-five years ago, and who rode the 
heavily backed Tony Lumpkin. How well I recollect going to 
a negro minstrel entertainment the night before, when the great 
Unsworth, in his stump speech, implored his audience to back 
Arbury for the big chase ; and not a bad tip on the whole, he 
finishing third, if my memory serves me. 

Following Liverpool are a few flowers plucked by myself at 
a sporting little steeplechase meeting, now extinct, held at Hoy- 
lake, in Cheshire, some of the best amateurs, including Captain 
Tempest of Hall Court fame, sporting silk on the occasion, 
whilst the local talent was well represented by Captain Legendre 
Starkie and Mr. * Clayton ' (Mr. Alfred Poules), owner of Light- 

98 More Leaves from an Old Sketch Book. 

heart, a prominent performer in the Grand National for 
several years in succession. A rare good little horse, no victory- 
would have been more popular with the natives, could he have 
managed to do the trick. 

What reminiscences are conjured up by the portraits which- 
greet me as I turn to the next page ! Lord Ranelagh, Charlie 
Buller, Mr. John Percival, Jack Coney, and Billy Shaw. Gad T 
the bare mention of the two last is sufficient to give one a 

* Why does Lord Ranelagh put in an appearance here ? * I 
ask myself. Ah, I have it. * 'Abet, 'e *as it,* as I once heard ai> 
H-less old party remark to a companion in the stand at Epsom^ 
as an infuriated sportsman hit another on the nose for all he 
was worth. 

It having long been an understood thing between a bright 
young sportsman and myself that on the first opportunity 
which presented itself we should go and witness a prize-fight, it 
was mutually agreed that we couldn't do better than choose the 
forthcoming fight for the championship between those renowned 
bruisers, Jim Mace and Joe Goss, the preh'minaries of whicli 
were just then causing great excitement in the sporting world. 

The date of the encounter being duly fixed, we had agreed 
to repair to Jack Coney's at a late hour the night before, pur- 
chase our tickets for the inner ring, and — I believe — railway 
journey, and obtain the 'griffin,' Le,y name of the station we 
were to start from. 

Accordingly, after dinner and a theatre to follow, away we 
went to Panton Street, in the highest spirits at the thought of 
witnessing to-morrow's heroic struggle for the belt Alas ! we 
little knew the disappointment in store for us. Half-way down 
the Haymarket, whom should we run up against but Lord 
Ranelagh, a relative, or, at all events, a friend of my companion^ 
' Hallo ! ' said he, pulling us up, * where are you two young 
scamps off to ? Coney's, eh ? To get tickets for the fight, I 
s'pose ? I thought as much ; well, then, take my advice and 
don't go, or, if you do, be sure and buy no briefs, for though 
Coney's selling them right and left, as though nothing had 
happened, you can take it from me that there'll be no fight — not 
yet awhile, at all events — for the very good reason that Goss was 
arrested this very afternoon, and is at this moment kicking his 
heels in limbo.^ 

This was indeed sad hearing, and, if I remember rightly, the 

More Leagues from an Old Sketch Book. • 99 

pair of us were too disgusted to go to Coney's or anywhere else 
that night 

The sketch in the centre represents my first visit to Jack 
Percival's innocent-looking little cigar shop in Panton Street, 
hard by the ancestral halls of Mr. John Coney. * Ginger' 
Stubbs, as immaculate as ever in his dress, especially about the 
neck, seated on the chest by the door, smiles sardonically as 
John Percival behind the counter congratulates Bob Hope 
Johnstone, who with an air of magnificence has produced a roll 
of bank notes from his pocket, on such an unwonted state of 
affluence. * Formosa } Ten pounds to five : thank you, sir,' 
says the black-bearded party in the tremendous hat, who sits at 
the desk by the window. 

• She'll win by five lengths, sir,* chimes in John, as, having 
transacted my business, I prepare to take my leave. A prophecy 
on his part which unfortunately did not prove quite correct ; 
Formosa, as many a reader will doubtless recollect, running a 
dead heat for the Two Thousand with Moslem. 

My facsimile of Billy Shaw sets me humming the air of his 
favourite song, * The Union Jack of Hold HingA^SiA ! ' and, at 
the same time, wondering how many times I have heard him 
warble the same patriotic ditty at his far-famed hostelry in 
Great Windmill Street. When, somewhere in the seventies, 
owing to a little misunderstanding with * them adjective Beaks,' 
as he termed them, Billy had lost his licence, he migrated to the 
East, and thither an old admirer of his and I drove one night to 
see how he was getting on, running him to ground, after con- 
siderable difficulty, in a dingy little pub, situated in a very low, 
ill-lighted neighbourhood somewhere at the back of the Tower 
of London. 

I forget if he sported a boxing saloon ; if he did, there was no 
one there that night. But he took us to an upstairs room 
where, Billy told us with pride, how, having previously laid 
down a mattress or two to deaden the sound, he once brought off 
a cock-fight for the express benefit of a French swell, anxious to 
witness the sport, who had been escorted thither by his Grace 
of Hamilton, to whom he was on a visit. When we took our 
departure in the rickety hansom he had obtained for us, Billy, 
whilst apologising for it being closing time, added in a stage 
whisper, * You two gents 'ave only to say the word, and I'll take 
yer to a crib close 'andy, where yer can drink all night » 

The last time I set eyes on Billy was at Sandown, arrayed in 

loo More Leaves from an Old Sketch Book. 

a very tall hat, and a frock-coat fitting so tight to his somewhat 
bloated figure, that he might well be compared to a roly-poly 
pudding. Not a great while afterwards news came of his demise. 

Next page, please. A solitary figure this time, sketched, as 
the note in the corner says, at Harpenden Races. 

A tall, spare old man, attired in a roomy pepper and-salt 
coat, cord breeches and tan gaiters, a tall hat on his head, and a 
blue bird's-eye * fogle ' tied in many folds round his neck — none 
other, indeed, than Bill George, of Canine Castle, the moaCi;^ 
celebrated dog-dealer in England. '^'•■ 

An illiterate man (I have heard it asserted that when writings 
to a client he would commence, * Honrd. Cur *), there could be 
no question that what Bill didn't know about a dog wasn't 
worth talking about. No matter what breed it was you wanted, 
he'd get it for you, and no fault to be found if you didn't mind 
paying for it. He was a great man with the artists, who, when- 
ever desirous of a canine model for their pictures, invariably 
went to Bill to provide them with the same. And thereby 
hangs a tale, the truth of which I can vouch for. One of the 
leading Royal Academicians being in want of a bloodhound to 
introduce into a picture, asked an animal-painter of his acquaint- 
ance, as being a better judge than himself, to accompany him to 
Canine Castle and help him to select one. On the two repairing 
thither, they were received by young Bill, who, in his parent's 
absence, proceeded to show them round. Several bloodhounds 
were on view, but not one of them good enough, and, upon 
hearing from their cicerone that he had nothing better on the 
premises, they were about to leave, when old Bill arrived, who, 
on hearing the story, severely rebuked his son for insulting an 

old customer like Mr. H by showing him the lot of rubbish 

he had. 

*ril soon put that to rights,' said. Bill, sen. 'Come this 
way, gents.' 

And with that he led them to a loose-box, where, reposing in 

the straw, lay a magnificent bloodhound, which H at 

once recognised as one which had been stolen some fortnight 
before from one of our most distinguished painters. The dog 
had just been sold to go abroad. Bill told him, which was 
obviously the reason his son hadn't shown him ; but, as he 
wasn't due for a week, the gentleman was very welcome to him 
every day to paint from in the interim, an offer which, needless 
to say, was at once accepted, it being arranged that young Bill 


." '■■■.'.•"-■■■ \ 

r-" ^^-- 

More Leaves from an Old Sketch Book, loi 

should bring him along every morning at eleven o'clock, and 
remain with him during the sitting, and then bring him back. 

Meanwhile H was in a dilemma. Not only desirous of 

restoring the lost dog to his rightful owner, who was nearly 
broken-hearted at its loss, he was still more anxious not to 
quarrel with Bill George, who would naturally decline in future 
to supply him with any more canine models if he became aware 
that he had been * split ' upon in the matter. 

It was, indeed, a case which demanded great diplomacy, 
and, after a long consultation with his brother of the brush, the 
following plan was arranged between them. On the third day 
of the series of sittings, young Bill George, having left the artist's 
house in St. John's Wood, with his charge in tow, at a time 
arranged, would be leisurely walking home, pipe in mouth, when 
who should pass by in his brougham — quite accidentally, of 
course — but the rightful owner, who, at once jumping out, would 
lay claim to his property then and there. 

The plot succeeded admirably, every detail being carried out 
to the letter. Young Bill, completely taken by surprise, was 
highly indignant at first, and flatly declined to surrender the 
dog at any price. An invitation, however, to settle the matter 
by arbitration at the adjacent police-station somehow did not 
fall in with his views, and in the end he reluctantly handed 
over his precious charge to the owner, together with the 
highly illuminated address which is always customary on such 

Croydon — dear, merry old Croydon — had always been such 
a happy hunting-ground of mine in my salad days, that no 
wonder it was now a case of 

* Though lost to sight. 
To memory dear^ 

when, turning over the next page, I found myself transported 
there in the spirit, and face to face once more with Arthur 
Yates, Freddy Hobson, Dick Shepherd (of the Shepherd's-plaid 
cap and jacket), Daddy Hoof, and Teddy Brayley. 

A great man for theatricals, when the latter won the Grand 
National with that jady, washed-out chestnut mare, Casse T^te, 
starting at quite an outside price, half the actors in London were 
on, the biggest winner of them all being the late John Toole, no 
doubt inspired thereto by his friend, the owner. 



By 'Snaffle.' 

[AVING what I may fairly call a * life-experience * of 
English hunting, and one covering, at intervals, a 
score of years of the same sport in Ireland, it had 
long been a wish of mine to see. something of the 
chase in the other sister-kingdom (one has to be so very careful 
in these days not to offend any * national ' susceptibility that 
I should perhaps add that hunting in at least three Welsh 
counties is familiar to me, and that I have even had a — blank- 
day in Cornwall, which I understand some Celtic purists say 
should be considered a separate kingdom, or, at any rate, 
country). But really, of Scottish hunting I knew little beyond 
the classic facts that it produced a Whyte-Melville, who, 
ungratefully enough, nowhere describes the sport of his own 
shire, or rather kingdom, of Perth, and that an Ansti*uther 
Thomson thought well enough of it to go from the Pytchley to 
it. On the other hand, Surtees, who, as a Northumbrian, was a 
near neighbour, made his famous hero sentence an offender to 
be condemned to hunt in Ber\vickshire for the rest of his life. 
I fancy, all the same, that a good deal of his local colour comes 
from over the border. Jock Haggish, the Duke of Tergiver- 
sation's huntsman, is surely drawn or caricatured from the 
famous Williamson, who was so good a servant to the con- 
temporary Duke of Buccleuch ; and, indeed, in the Analysis oj 
the Hunting Fieldy Surtees repeats several of the best-known 
stories of that worthy. 

However, to quit second-hand sources of information, it 
was not till the past season that I was able at last to see 
something of the chase in * Caledonia, stern and wild.' Stem 
and wild she was, too, with deep and heavy snow about 
Christmas, and a frost which let hounds out of kennel only four 
times in five weeks in the two following months. The Fife 
Hounds lost twenty (nearly one-third) of their sixty-six hunting 
days. Snow again stopped hounds as late es March 19th, and 
gales and bad scent marked the close of the season. Moreover, 
on my private account, stable troubles interfered with some of 
my sport ; so, altogether, and apart from local conditions, it was 

Hunting in Scotland. 103 

not •a season to look back upon with unalloyed satisfaction. 
Still, it enables me to give the reader some idea of what is,. from 
a hunting point of view, a terra incognita to most Englishmen. 

I must begin by saying that my personal Scottish experience 
was limited to two packs : one probably the admitted * Quorn * 
of Scotland ; the other a provincial hunt, owning a good deal 
of rough country, hill, moor, and — wire. From the latter curse 
the big pack suffers little, but timber is supplied with such a 
lavish hand to the farmers, that the tendency of the fences is 
yearly to degenerate more and more from hedges into posts and 
rail, pure and simple. Now this is a fence that tends to become 
monotonous,- and is one which, with a blown horse, may easily 
lead to worse things than ennui. It is true that the timber is 
here, practically invariably, of the Scotch fir (by the way, this 
and whisky seem to be the only two things it is permissible to call 
* Scotch,' and not * Scottish ' or * Scots,' nowadays) variety, and 
a heavyish horse can generally be trusted to smash it rather 
than turn over — if he only hits it hard enough. One thing I 
may add, as one who, like Mr. Jorrocks, has * na carle to ride for 
rayputation,' and that is that in the matter of gate-fastenings 
the country is deplprably provided. Only on one estate did 
I notice a proper hunting latch ; but the usual arrangement is a 
hook on the end of a chain — a device I have never seen used 
elsewhere. When I say that, in addition to this, the gates 
generally have a little piece of barbed wire nailed along them — 
I presume to prevent cattle rubbing the hook out of the staple it 
fits into — it is hardly necessary to remark how much work this 
arrangement gives the recording angel. To complete this 
picture, I may add that the gate is quite unjumpably high — I 
ought perhaps to add 'for one of my kidney,' but I did not 
see one jumped during the season, and the take-off, generally, 
a mass of big, loose stones collected off the nearest field before 
ploughing. The other gate of the country is the * heave-gate,' 
frankly not to be opened from the saddle, but usually jumpable. 

That there is much arable goes without saying, for Scottish 
land that is not moor and knows not the plough is always the 
exception. The rotation system of the district, however, which 
gives one year s com and one of roots to four of grass (less on 
the best land), reduces this drawback a good deal. On the other 
hand, it accounts for the good upkeep of the fences enclosing 
the arable ; and whilst, in other countries, we cross a ploughed 
field with the comfortable feeling that, bar a boundary fence, 

I04 Hunting in Scotland. 

we may look for an easy jump out, here we find the fence just 
of the same type as that between two grass fields. It is only 
right to add that the plough is not, as a rule, of a very deep or 
holding kind. 

The coverts varj% except that gorse coverts are few and far 
between. Foxes are generally found in the shrubberies and 
woods adjoining gentlemen's seats, or, as they are here called, 
the * policies * of the house, or else in the fir strips scattered 
about the country, which afford good covert for thier first ten 
years, and practically none for the next quarter of a century 
Probably for this reason, the meet is almost invariably at such 
a house — never at an inn ; but, by the way, there are no way- 
side inns, and that, when you come to think of it, deprives 
Scottish hunting of a familiar concomitant of our own chase. 
Who has not been glad of a glass of beer and a bucket of gruel, 
for man and horse respectively, on a long ride home ? (By the 
way, I saw the latter comfort recently described by a fashionable 
novelist as a * basin of gruel,' the other day. The whole 
episode is too delicious for omission : the hero, who had been 
'bucketing a horse backwards and forwards over the iron 
hurdles in the park,' brings the animal home * conquered,' and 
goes to his lunch with the direction, * Give him a basin of gruel 
to-night.' Whether the unfortunate animal was to celebrate 
his 'conquest' by a few hours' hunger and thirst, I cannot 
say, but probably the hero omitted to add, * tallow his nose and 
put his feet in hot water and mustard.') 

Whilst the hunting field in Scotland may be described as 
similar to our own, but containing less of the professional class, 
and, in my experience, no cleric of any denomination and but a 
small proportion of farmers, there is an item which strikes one 
at once by its absence, if the bull be excusable. There are no 
* foot-people' — a class in England containing some of the very 
best sportsmen out. For the Irish 'wrecker' type I have con- 
siderably less liking ; but many a ' bhoy ' loses his day's pay 
for a * hunt ' with no interested motive at all. No Scotsman 
does this, not I think really from pecuniary motives, but merely 
because he feels no desire to join in the sport. The apathetic 
attitude of ploughmen, fencers, and such-like, when hounds run 
past them, seems to me to prove this, as does the fact that 
during a whole season I have never once been asked any 
question as to our sport by any native encountered on my 
homeward way. It is true that in England the question is 

Hunting in Scotland. 105 

often not scientific : * How many *ave ye cotched, sir ? ' being a 
common form of interrogatory ; but it shows an interest taken in 
the thing. I missed, too, the cheery * Good-morning ' of the 
English yokel on my way to the meet, nor do I think, if I lived 
half a century north of the Tweed, I should ever get used to the 
detestable habit of the Scottish cottager of bolting in and 
shutting the door at the sight of a stranger. Especially annoying 
is this trick if one happens to want to ask the way. 

It is this detachment of the Scottish plebs from fox-hunting 
which produces the result that most hunt-servants and even 
hunting grooms in the country are of English origin. 

But I must add that it gives one great advantage to the 
chase — there is no luUloaing (letters of gold for this, please, Mr. 
Printer, if you have them handy. — Out of 'em. — P.D.). Oh ! 
tbrice-blessed country, no halloaing ! 

Mr. Fomponious Ego, the reader will remember, projected 
an essay * On Halloas * — I never heard that it was given to a 
grateful posterity. I have even some recollections of something 
of the sort in a book called The Snaffle Papers ; but though a 
decade has passed since that was written, I cannot flatter the 
author thereof that he has reduced the number of halloas by 
one per season. Which of us, however limited may be our 
hunting experience, but can recollect runs spoilt by clamorous 
yokels, and even, I regret to say, members of the field ? Well, 
unless my experience is wrongly founded on a thing that is 
purely local to the counties where I was, there is no halloaing in 
Scotland, a fact that alone divides it by an enormous gulf from 
English provincial sport. 

The northern part of our island is not that to which we 
traditionally go for fun — to put it mildly — and, indeed, Scottish 
hunting is a serious business enough. Very few humorous 
incidents remain in my mind as having been witnessed there, 
and of these one is perhaps funnier in the recollection than in 
the telling. Having secured a bad start from one of the few 
gorse coverts in the countr>', I came * pasting ' downhill towards 
a post and rails, but concealed from the adjoining field by a 
bullfinch at right angles thereto. Thus, at the bottom, I came 
unperceived on a white-haired lady seated on a cob, the said 
cob being seated also — on his haunches. The lady's crop and 
tongue were alike busy, and but that ladies never — well, hardly 
ever — use the 'big, big D,' I should have surmised that the 
recording angel was at work. It was evident that the cob had 

io6 Hnnting in Scotland. 

tried to refuse, slipped up, and cannoned * sejant,' as the Heralds 
say, into the rails. However, our fox turned out to be a gravid 
vixen, and not very far on hounds were stopped, so no harm 
was done. 

On another occasion hounds were running smartly when the 
apparition of an extra high rail-fence, with sharply sloping 
ground beyond, sent me and another to the gate at its end, 
I holding his nag whilst he wrestled with the complicated 
fastenings. Enter to us one of the young bloods of the chase. 

* Bit too much of a drop to that fence,* he remarked, * but 
I jumped it last year! ^ 

One peculiarity is common to most, if not all Scottish 
hunting countries, and it is one uncommon in England : I 
allude to the fact that they have, on one or more sides, tracts of 
unhunted and unhuntable country. This is a fact which some- 
times leads to great and yet quite unenjoyable runs. Thus, as 
lately as the 6th of April, 1907, the Duke of Buccleuch's hounds, 
meeting in the extreme west of their country, found a fox who 
incontinently left it, and ran over grouse moors and hills in such 
a way as to entirely get rid of the field. He must have given a 
great run, for the officials did not find the pack till dark, twenty- 
six miles from home, which was reached at two o'clock on 
Sunday morning. 

Perhaps the best way of giving a reader an idea of the sport 
in any particular country, is to describe one or two days' sport 
therein, and this I will now attempt to do. 

Turning to my hunting diary, I find one or two which may 
serve. The meet, on the first of them, which took place at a 
large country house on the outskirts of the county town, was a 
large one, occurring as it did at the end of a long frost A move 
was made to the woods in the policies, where a fox was quickly 
on foot. Now, this particular place is one noted for the facility 
with which one gets * left ' at the start, and on this occasion it 
did not fail to act up to its reputation. I, however, was this 
time one of the fortunate ones, for which, by the way, I paid 
on our next visit to the place a month later, when my share of 
the run was limited to jogging along with the hunt second- 
horsemen till I could pick up hounds for their second draw. On 
'this day it was otherwise. Hounds rattled their fox through 
unrideable woodlands till he came away 'convenient' to my 
own position. On the grass they simply flew. The fences were 
mostly big stone walls, but handily gated, and during the whole 

Hunting in Scotland. 107 

run we never touched plough. Four-and-twenty minutes of the 
best ended in a check, and though things were quickly put right, 
the pace was distinctly slower for the rest of the run. For one 
thing, scent was notably inferior in cover, and our fox promptly 
availed himself of this fact to run through all the many ' strips,' 
or fir plantations, which dotted the fields ; hounds doggedly 
stuck to him, and at last drove him into a large covert. The 
wind was high here, for we were now a good many hundred feet 
above the woods where we had found, and it was a little difficult 
to keep with hounds, none the less so as the boggy rides through 
the wood were extraordinarily deep and rotten after the snow 
and frost. One, at least, of our number acquired a dirty coat 
here, but at last we got away on to the grass again, and as I 
and some others approached the highest point of the hill, our 
fox came bundling back across it and threw himself into a gorse 
patch. A hat held up gave the huntsman the office, and hounds, 
being at fault, were quickly brought over. They failed to hit 
him off for so long a time that I, for one, thought he had found 
sanctuary in a rabbit-hole ; but at last they were on him, and 
promptly bowled him over. — Time, one hour, and a very cheery 

Horses being changed, a long trot followed. In all countries 
this is a wearisome proceeding, but nowhere more so than in the 
lowlands of Scotland, where the badness of the roads has to 
be seen to be believed. However, in due time, we reached a 
gorse covert on a sheltered hillside ; and diligent inquiry found 
the desired animal at home. At least the first whip's whistle 
announced that he had 'just .stepped out,' and away we went 
at score over a closely fenced country and down to the banks 
of what the natives, uncertain whether to say * brook * or * river,' 
call a * water.' Up these went the chase, and, as in all bottom 
lands, the fences were big. Driving through the extensive 
woods of another country house, we ran on in the direction of 
our original meet, but short of it this fox, too, died in the open 
after a run similar to the other in length. 

One more day of a different sort. Leaving the meet, our 
way this time took us to high-lying wet moors, intersected by 
those ' sheep-drains ' whose hidden presence has been responsible 
for many a fall. Here we came to a large gorse, from which a 
reluctant fox was at last forced. He circled round, and for a 
time hounds ran fitfully. Coming down an old 'drove- road ' — 
the old lines over which for centuries Highland store-cattle made 

io8 Huntiftg in Scotland, 

their way to the English pastures — hounds suddenly swung to 
the right. The enclosing rails stood on a high bank, but it was 
wide enough to spring from, and some obliging thruster knock- 
ing a rood or so of it somewhat towards the ploughed field we 
had to land in, made it easy enough. But checks now came, 
and, finally, it was with the feeling that scent was not up to 
much that we marked this fox to ground near a railway line. 
Here he was left, and we rode back to the hills to try again. 

Two fir plantations, perhaps the distance of a T.Y.C. apart, 
were the scene of our next venture, and one of them held a fox. 
But, bothered and headed by some second horsemen, he more 
than once dodged from one to the other: Just as things began 
to look bad, he slipped away. The fence was an uncompro- 
mising stone wall, but fortunately there were rails in one corner, 
and away we went down to the cultivated country, where the 
chase was attended by the cheerful crackling sound of splin- 
tering timber, which usually accompanies a run in these parts. 
Hounds ran fast and well, pointing for the largest town in this 
district, but short of this some intricate fences let us into the 
grounds of a small house, in whose shrubberies an obviously 
beaten fox was running short. In another minute it was whoo- 
whoop I The run had taken seven-and-thirty minutes, of which 
the odd ones may be knocked off for alarms and excursions 
between the two coverts before we were fairly off. 

On the whole an enjoyable day, and one to me certainly 
worth the hat which a cropper over a heave-gate rendered a 
negligeable quantity, as the French say. 

A third fox gave a less satisfactory gallop, for the line of 
country he took was a poor one ; and, finally, putting up a fresh 
companion, he divided the pack, and saved his bacon. 

As a rule, the country is one less noteworthy for fast, short 
gallops like this than for longer but equally satisfactory runs. 
I think I am not libelling it by calling it not a first-class scent- 
ing district. The foxes are good and strong, and the country 
well stopped, so they have to travel some way to safety, and 
they do. Blank days are unknown, and few days would earn 
the reprobation of Mr. Jorrocks, to whom a day without blood 
was no day. 

A hunting man of a roving turn of mind might distinctly do 
worse than have a season in Scotland, and I, for one, have brought 
away pleasant recollections of a sort that make me hope that I 
may some day re-visit its happy hunting-grounds. 

( I09 ) 


Collected by ARTHUR F. Meyrick. 

INHERE is yet no more pleasant back reading than 
the Sporting Magazine^ if one feels inclined to 
probe into * ye old times/ and see how the ancient 
sportsman followed his pursuits, ended his days, or 
gave — in youth, middle or advanced age — encouragement to 
all appertaining to the same. Besides the practical knowledge 
these magazines no doubt imparted and their beautifully exe- 
cuted engravings from paintings of sporting artists like Stubbs, 
Morland, Chalon, Marshall, Herring, Barenger, Howitt, &c., their 
pages contain poetry galore. Serious or otherwise, the bard was 
prolific, but it is to the Epigrams and Epitaphs, sporting and 
otherwise, without further preface, I now confine my attention. 
The Turf, of course, is heavily treated. Owner, trainer, 
horse-watcher, jockey, sire, and the high-mettled steed have not 
been neglected, and especially the latter, whether — 

* Grown aged, used up, and turned out of the stud, 
Lame, spavin'd, and wind-gall, but yet with some blood ; 
While knowing postillions his pedigree trace. 
Tell his dam won this sweepstakes, his sire that race, 
And what matches he won to the hostlers count o'er 
As they loiter their time at some hedge ale-house door \ 
While the harness sore galls, and the spurs his side goad. 
The high-mettled racer's a hack on the road.' 

Many famous racers are dealt with epitaphically in verse 
in these magazines. At the highest of such undoubtedly 
stands Eclipse. O'Kelly's great horse never descended to the 
hack on the road, but he was so feeble on his legs that when he 
left Epsom for The Cannons, his owner's seat near Edgware, 
he was favoured with a ride in a self-constructed van, and we 
are told it was with his head out of the latter, on a well-lined 
road, from the scene of his many exploits to his last home, he bade 
his farewell to an admiring Surrey crowd. Eclipse was foaled 
in 1764, and died in 1789. He was then more than once epi- 

I lo Quaint Sporting Poetry, 

taphically dealt with, but the following. I think, is the best 

sample : — 


* Praise to departed worth, illustrious Steed ! 
Not the fam'd Phernicus of Pindar's ode, 
0*er thee, Eclipse, possessed transcendent speed 
When by a keen Newmarket jockey rode. 

*Tho' from the hoof of Pegasus arose 
Inspiring Hippocrene, a fount divine, 
A richer stream superior merit shews — 
Thy matchless price produced O'Kelly wine. 

*True, o'er the tomb in which the fav'rite lies 
No vaunting boast appears of lineage good, 
Yet the Turf Register's bright page defies 
The race of Herod to show better blood.' 

In poetry I find O'Kelly also oft mentioned, both before 
and subsequently to his death ; indeed, when living, one con- 
tributor to the Sporting Magazine was bold enough to commit 
himself as follows, as regards the owner of Eclipse, in 1778, 
when report had it that O'Kelly once thought of retiring from 
racing : — 

* Of the turf when he quits it O'Kelly may say — 
Of its pleasures and profits have I had my day : — 
And on it have Charlotte and I danced on the Hay; 
But what by the turf in return will be said. 
When beneath its cold surface O'Kelly is laid? 
Why, that he who once had the turf to himself. 
And suffer'd no shares in ill-gotten pelf. 

But hedged off and on 'till he always rose winner : — 
This militiaman bluff, and this jockey so tough, 
Of turf now possess not more than enough 
To cover the body of one wretched sinner,' 

But in my searches I find less poetic mention made of 
-owners than horses. There, nevertheless, is a striking epitaph 
written upon Mr. Tattersall, the founder of the famous Knights- 
bridge firm. It ran thus : — 

* Here lieth Tattersall of turf renown ! 
Who with his hammer many a lot knocked down, 
Now 'tis his lot, Death's stronger arm to meet, 
Who, with his hammer, laid him at his feet; 
Not like his lots, who instantly knocked down, 
Got up, took to their heels, and left the town, 

Epigrams and Epitaphs. i \ \ 

Nor Bayes's lots, stretch'd apparent dead, 
At his facetious word, arose and fled; 
Not such a lot as he, who passing good, 
Escaped the ravage of Gomorrah's flood ; 
But such a lot, as Heav'n for mercy's sake, 
We hope, will refuse from Sin's burning lake.' 

A more personal one than that of Mr. Tattersall was, 
however, written over a Mr. Tetherington, said to be known to 
all sporting men of the Turf; at any rate, it is certainly more 

quaint : — 

* The ups and downs of life he knew. 

Yet always full of whim. 
Upon the turf he wealthy grew, 
And now the turfs on him.' 

But to the owner such class of satirical effusions are very 
pronounced as to the position he held with the trainer or jockey. 
As proof of this, one epigram, headed ' Recent Events,' speaks 
as follows of an owner : — 

* With racers of the highest breed. 
That he should never once succeed. 

From year to year, my Lord enrages; 
At length a whisper meets his ear — 
"You're blind, my Lord, the reason's clear — 

Your Jockies' bribes exceed their wages,^^^ 

Likewise the trainer is touched upon in another epigram, 
headed * Newmarket ' : — 

•Newmarket is a pleasant place. 
And so are all the Trainers: 
For tho' you oft may win a race. 
They keep it as — Retainers.' 

The epigrams on the honesty of the jockey are also mostly 
severe, so are the epitaphs. Over one jockey was written : — 

* To Turf he bore such constant love — 

Oh, read it not with wonder, 
That all his life he lied c^ove^ 
And now he's dead, lies under.' 

Over another, in a Newmarket churchyard, not mentioned, 
a trifle more favourable, is the epitaph : — 

•Beneath the green sod, in this sport-loving place, 
A Jockey lies snug who has run a good race. 
Till his wind being gone, and by death being crost. 
At last he's come in the wrong side of the post' 

112 Quaint Sporting Poetry, 

The huntsman, horse, and hound naturally are made the 
chief poetic subjects in connection with the Chase. In my 
searches quaintness certainly exists, to start with, in an epigram 
written by a person on seeing a * Foxhunter painted with a book 
in his hand.' It ran thus : — 

' Let poets and painters their fancy pursue, 
So they keep probability always in view, 
But what creature does that silly fellow require 
That has painted a Book in the hands of a Squire.' 

An answer was written to the above as follows : — 

* No censure can that painter's work demand, 
Who plac'd a book in the foxhunter*s hand, 
Since that same book, it may clearly be seen. 
Is Wheble's well-known Sporting Magazine ! ' 

A very humorous epitaph is communicated on the demise of 
a huntsman who, just preceding his exit, requested a person to 
see a few legacies disposed of, and also look after his epitaph. 
The wish of the deceased was to give to the sexton, for digging 
the grave, his * bacco box ; ' to the clerk, for two staves, his * gin- 
bottle, with silver top ; ' and to the sporting parson his * silver- 
mounted whip, on which old Merrilass and her litter of puppies 
was engraved.' Then, for a funeral sermon (with the clause 
inserted * if he can make one '), the following text suggested, 
* Foxes have holes/ &c. 

The epitaph for his gravestone he framed himself, as he 
remarked, to save the clerk the trouble. And here it is : — 

* From early youth I learnt to whoop and halloo. 
And o'er the Coteswolds the sharp hound to follow ; 
Oft at the dawn Fve seen the glorious Sun 
Going from the East till he his course had run. 
I was the fam'd Mendoza of the field. 
And to no huntsman would give in, or yield ; 
And when it fancied me to make a push. 
No daring Nimrod ever got the brush. 
But all my lifetime Death has hunted me 
O'er hedge and gate, nor from him could I flee ; 
Now he has caught my brush, and in his hold 
Earth'd my poor bones. Farewell/ thou flouting bowl, 
Scented with ReynanT s foot ; for Death my rum hath stole.' 

The writer who looked after the whole explains the last lines 
byf saying, it was a custom at the period (1793), with enthusiastic 
fox-hunters, to put a foot (or pad) of the fox killed into a bowl 

Epigrams and Epitaphs. 113 

of punch; deduced, perhaps, from the unenh'ghtened heroes 
amongst the ancient northern tribes, who thought the beverage 
more highly flavoured when drunk out of the skulls of their 
enemies. I must own I have carried my ardour more than once 
so far as to immerse the foot of a fox, recently killed, in a 
bumper of port. 

The High-mettled Racer was. as we all know well, dealt with 
by Dibdin, but I likewise find the High-mettled Hound is 
epitaphed as appended : — 

' No more the gay chase he awakes in the morOi 

For, stretching himself on the ground, 
His ears faintly hearing the echoing horn, 
He died to the musical sound.' 

Then an Irishman wrote this epigram on the pleasure of the 
Chase : — 

* Arrah, what now, my honey, and would you be told. 
The way to ride forward more dashing and bold ? 
O, give your nag plenty of Vincent and Crowder ; 
And yourself a full measure of best leaping powder ! ' 

As a healthy recreation, hunting on the whole had, however 
better^e left to the summing-up of the poet, Denham : — 

' Up to the hills thou sluggard, mount the steed ; 
You'll need no physic, health shall sure succeed.* 

Coursing, although for both pictures and details one of the 
sports generally well looked after in the Sporting Magazine^ for 
either quaint or serious rhymes is, curiously enough, somewhat 
neglected. There is, as a matter of fact, little to be found to 
beat the familiar old epigram on the * Choice of a Greyhound' : — 

* If you will have a good pike. 
Of which there are few like, 
It must be headed like a Snake, 
Neckt like a Drake, 
Back'tt like a Beam, 
Sided like a Bream, 
Tailed like a Rat, 
And footed like a Cat.' 

Of shooting there are many samples, and the high qualities 
of a Sportsman of the olden times are agreeably defined in the 
appended epitaph : — 

* Beneath this turf, pent in a narrow grave, 
Here lies a sportsman, truly great and brave, 

114 Quaint Sporting Poetry, 

It was his principal and greatest pride 
To have a fowling-bag slung by his side ; 
Through wood and field to labour, toil, and run, 
In quest of game, with pointer, scrip, and gun. 
His random shot was seldom known to spare 
The woodcock, pheasant, or the tim'rous hare ; 
Till death (that subtle lurcher) lay concealed. 
Surprised and shot our hero in the field ; 
Then to his covert may he safely rest. 
Till rous'd to join with covies of the blest.' 

The Poacher, I may state, is not let go scot-free in such field 
diversions, either in epigram or epitaph. Included in the 
former, one gives the following advice gratis : — 

' Oh, ye Poachers beware ! how in catching a hare 

Ye offend the irascible Squire ; 
For if you are caught, oh, then you'll be taught 
What it is to lay snares made of wire.' 

Of one caught, another epigram tells, however, of the result : — 

' Ned poach'd ; confess'd it, was acquitted. Why ? 
The jury knew ; he'd always used to lie.' 

But now for a poacher's end and his epitaph : — 

* Here lies a rascally incroacher — 

A man who lived and died — a poacher. 
He killed all he could hear or see ; 
But Death could kill as well as he, 
So Death look'd up, and saw him coming, 
Just set a snare to take him running — 
And in the poacher popp'd — and so 
Ends all his cunning.' 

Included in the high-classed sports and diversions over a 
century ago, conspicuous were archery and angling, and driving 
likewise was no mean feature. The Whip Club, and the Four- 
in-hand Club, when started, created some little scare with care- 
less amateurs driving ; indeed, of the former I find this 
epigram : — 

* What can Men of Fashion do ? 
Why drive a Curricle or two. 

Can Men of Fashion do no more? 
Yes, drive a smart barouche and four. 
Do Men of Fashion end with this, 
May they not drive too fast ? Oh, yes.' 

Archery is more sedate. The magazine speaks of the yew- 

Epigrams and Epitaphs. 1 1 5 

tree at one time being mostly grown in the churchyard, to pre- 
serve it, with a view to bow-making, from grazing cattle. That 
may be so, but the tombstone is not free from the epitaph of the 
Bowman. Is it not recorded that over the grave of the Earl of 
Huntingdon, familiarly looked upon as the famous Robin 
Hood, was inscribed : — 

* Here, underneath this humble stone, 
Lies Robert Earl of Huntingdon ; 
No archer was like him so good, 
And people called him Robin Hood ; 
Such outlaws as he and his men 
England will never see again.' 

Then on a tablet in Clerkenwell, on one Sir William Wood, 
a great archer, who died in 1691, at the age of eighty-two, 
a long eulogistic epitaph concludes : — 

* Surviving archery must thy loss lament, 
That in respect bestow'd this monument, 
Where whistling arrows did his worth proclaim, 
And eternize his memory and his name.' 

But with Angling more life is imparted into my collection 
than is the case with the arrow and the bow. The angler, how- 
ever, like the archer and the cricketer, has his favoured tree. 
Are we not in poetry told of the former that — 

' Beneath a willow, long forsook. 
The fisher seeks his customed nook ? ' 

Of cricket I have failed to find either epigram or epitaph 
worthy of quotation, but I have extracted several others 
respecting the angler. From his early days however, if he did 
not obtain his rod from one of his favourite resorts, the willow 
oft supplied his bow of exaggeration. But from time immemorial 
such would seem to be the privilege of the gentle art. At any 
rate, my angling extracts favour the point. One epigram to 
start with tells that — 

' An Irishman angling one day in the Liffey, 

Which runs down by Dublin's great city so fine, 
A smart shower of rain falling, Pat, in a jifTey, 
Crept under the arch of a bridge with his line. 

** Why, that's not the place to accomplish your wishes," 
Cried Dermot, " there devil a bite will you get." 

" Och, bother !" says Pat, "don't you know that the fishes 
Will flock under here to keep out of the wet ? " ' 

1 1 6 Quaint Sporting Poetry, 

In a much later magazine this even swells into the subject 
more Brobdingnagian, the Giant battling with the gentle art with 

' His angle rod made of sturdy oak, 
His line a cable, which in storms ne'er broke ; 
His hook he bated with a dragon's tail, 
And sat upon a rock, and bobb*d for whale.' 

Lastly, however, perhaps a little more truthful is an epitaph 
written ^upon one Will Gudgeon, certainly well named for a 
famous Ouse (Huntingdon) fisherman. His deeds on the stone 
run as follows : — 

* As by the Ouse, grim Death did trudge on. 
He cast his net, and took a gudgeon, 
The mesh was small, a true thief net. 
So out poor Gudgeon could not get ; 
Will the same trick had often play'd. 
But now he's in a safe trunk laid. 
Thus rooks to rooks are oft a prey I 
And sly men caught in their own way.' 

An epigram on the ancient game of Bowls may be read with 
interest : — 

* The world's the bowling green on which we play. 

The bowls we play with, creatures that we use ; 
Rubbers our passions are ; our destin'd way 

Heeds no ground-giver ; there's but one to choose, 
The way of all flesh — Seven's the game, 'tis plain, 

For seven times seven is oft life's utmost bound ; 
The grave's our goal, which when we do obtain, 

Our game is out, our bowls left on the ground' 

The writer of the above rhymes, over a century ago, is, in a 
measure, true to his anticipations. The bowls are yet on the 
ground, and still afford pleasure to many of the present gene- 
ration. In these days of fanatical faddism the game is still 
legal, but the same cannot be said of two other diversions 
next extracted. I allude to those which some folks crazed 
over nearly fifty years ago, cocking and prize-fighting. I even 
now sometimes hear of the law being risked and evaded in such 
instances. The few, however, yet clinging to the former may see 
through these lines : — 

* Not like the dunghill cock, a coward breed. 
But such as better known to feed, 
Who fell upon him with a gory head. 
And made his conquerer's wing, his feather bed.' 

Epigrams and Epitaphs. \l^ 

It was not very many years after the i860 battle of Farn- 
borough that the prize-ring began to decline. That was really 
the last * great go.' I never saw or heard of Sayers or Heenan 
having epitaphs or epigrams. They both, I recollect, had 
colours, but no epithets like those of the famous Tom Cribb. 
He went a little further than poetic effusions, indulging in a 
coat of arms, neatly engraved in the Sporting Magazine^ and 
'neath which are scrolled Shakespeare's Macbeth lines, — 

'And damn'd be he that first cries, 
Hold 1 enough!' 

Cribb, however, after beating Molyneux, * the black,' set up 
as a publican at a house called * The Grapes ' in St. Martin's 
Lane, and engaged, so says the Sporting Magazine^ * the pugi- 
listic poet ' of the time to write the following as a helpmate to 
the champion in his new vocation : — 

* Black Diamond^ adieu ! Tom's now took to the bar, 

^hit fancy to serve in all shapes: 
For a chop or a glass or a mill or a spar^ 

They'll be at home to a peg at the Grapes. 
The lovers of mirth without crime may ther^ file, 

And of sporting talk over each hour ; 
Then ye swells give a turn to the gallant Tom Cribb 

To prevent the sweet grapes growing sour.' 

The same poet, no doubt, was responsible for the following 
epitaph on the death of Benjamin Bryant, also a famous 
pugilist : — 

* Death and Bryant set to, and a terrible fight 

Sure it was, when they both did begin, 
'Till Ben after shifting the whole of the fight 
At last thought it best to give in.' 

Bell or change-ringing was another diversion of the olden 
times. That has ceased to exist for good sums of money stakes, 
as was the case a hundred years ago. Pleasant as it is now to hear 
the merry peal across the meadow sWeet, the near neighbour of 
the ringing does not even now always appreciate the many 
changes. Objection, it seems, was always taken in more ancient 
periods. Voltaire wrote, for instance, this hint to bell-ringers : — 

* Ye rascals of ringers, ye terrible foes, 
And disturbers of all who are fond of repose ! 
How I wish, for the quiet and peace of the land, 
That ye wore round your necks what ye pull with your hand.' 

1 1 8 Quaint Sporting Poetry ^ 

To their lovers and those more initiated in their movements, 
the following inscription on the six bells at Bideford, in Devon- 
shire, will no doubt be well understood : — 

Tenor. Funera plango. 

Mens death I tell, by doleful knelL 
Fifth, Fulgara Fulmina frangs. 

Lightning and thunder, I break assunder. 
Fourth, Dissipo venitis. 

The Winds so fearce, I do disperse. 
Treble, Pace Cruentos. 

Mens cruel rage, I do assuage. 
Second, Excito lentos. 

The sleepy head, I raise from bed. 
Font. Sabbato pangs. 

On Sabath all ; to Church I caU. 

Following the above, there are very few ancient sports and 
diversions, I think, that have not been classified in my collection. 
At any rate, one fact is that my searches tell me that gambling, 
eating, and drinking were conspicuous features of the time. 
The gluttony and drinking I pass by, but as to the all-round 
gambling, both prose and poetry showed its great excess 
and recklessness. The * sharp* of a century ago must have 
had a rare harvest either with racing, billiards, cards, dice, and 
so forth. With the latter, it was carried to great excess, and 
hazard, of course, was then, as is now the case, a favourite 
game. The existing lovers of *the box,' I think will admit 
with me, that Dr. Arne, the writer of the words and music 
to the following * catch,' entitled * Three Gamesters at Hazard,' 
was no novice at the game : — 

* First Gamester. — Rattle dice, rattle ! Seven's the main. 

Second 6^.— Silence this tattle ! What ! Seven again ? I set you 
ten pounds. 

Third G.—A hundred. 

First a— rm loth. 

Second 6^.— Here's fifty. 

First G, — Done with you boih. 

Second G, — Now Fortune ! 

First 6^.— Here goes. 

Third (?.— Bad luck to your throws {thro7vs). 

First G, — Eleven's a nick— the guineas are mine. 

Second G, — V\\ set you my coat.. 

First G. — Tis not worth a groat. 

Second and third G, — Distraction, I'm ruined 1 Here, waiter, some 

Epigrams and Epitafhs. 1 1 9 

The still quite recognised whist rubber was nevertheless also 
in great demand. By the way, an epitaph, written on one 
termed an * excellent player/ says : — 

* Here low beneath the Sexton's spade 
A Hearty a friendly heart is laid ; 
No Diamond could his worth excell 
In every Ciub " he bore the bell " 

But now the game is over — the die is cast 

And Tom, poor Tom, has breath'd and play'd his last' 

This 'excellent' person certainly stands on the opposite 
side of the road to another gambler, also called Tom. How- 
ever, such was the fate of the latter : — 

* His last great debt is paid — poor Tom's no more ; 
Last debt ? Tom never paid a debt before.' 

In conclusion, it will be easy for my readers to conjecture 
from the above that if mirth and conviviality abounds in many 
of my quotations, they should indeed guess the unbidden miscel- 
laneous portion within the pages of these numerous Sporting 
Magazine volumes. They indeed contain plenty of jokes, 
squibs, and crackers, and so forth. Except the couple I 
give, my allotted space will not permit of more. The first 
epigram, however, tells of a dull and dismal town, sheltering an 
all-alone * sport,' and evidently one of the first and most ancient 
water. Of such it is written : — 

* How shocking this to those we call polite ! 
No cards to charm the slow progressing night ! 
No rouge et noir the open eye to keep ; 
No, no ! by ten the town was all asleep.' 

My second epigram is just to show the ' stamina of the old 
school ' : — 

* With wit, mirth, and friendship, the stronger the wine, 

We wore out that haggard, the night, 
Nor parted, though Phoebus did pleasingly shine, 

And wantonly barr'd out his light. 
When Bacchus, convinc'd we had bow'd to his shrine, 

He gave each a place in his heart, 
Declaring such vot'ries should never want wine. 

And in rapture he saw us depart.' 

( I20 ) 


By Francis B. Cooke, 

^O say that I was surprised to receive an invitation to 
dine with Harry Brailsford would be short of the 
truth, for I was simply amazed. There was certainly 
some justification for astonishment, as for six months 
or more he had been mourned by his friends as dead. Since 
leaving Lowestoft one morning in May, on a single-handed 
cruise in his five-ton sloop, Terpsichore^ nothing had been heard 
of my old chum, and despite the most searching inquiries no 
trace of the yacht's arrival at any port could be found. As week 
after week glided by without news, hope reached its vanishing- 
point, and when a lifebuoy bearing the yacht's name was 
washed up on the Northumberland coast, there could be but 
little doubt that the ill-fated Terpsichore and her owner had 
succumbed to some peril of the sea. And now, when the 
incident had been consigned to oblivion by all but Brailsford's 
most intimate friends, I received a tersely worded telegram, 
* Dine with me 7.30 to-night, Trocadero, Brailsford.' At first I 
thought the wire was some ill-timed practical joke, and felt half 
inclined to take no notice of it, but better counsel prevailed, and 
at the appointed hour I was at the Trocadero Restaurant. 
There, in the entrance-hall, I found Brailsford, looking bronzed 
and well. 

* Great Scott, Harry ! where on earth have you been for the 
last sixjmonths ? ' I exclaimed. * Do you know you are supposed 
to have been drowned at sea } ' 

* Yes,^ I was afraid people would think that But it's a long 
story, so we will dine first and talk afterwards.* 

* Finding a vacant table in a quiet corner of the gallery, we 
were soon enjoying an excellent dinner. I, not unnaturally, 
commenced to ply Brailsford with questions, which, however, he 
adroitly turned aside. It was obvious that he had no intention 
of departing from his programme, so, smothering my impatience 
as best I could, I answered his many inquiries as to the doings 
of mutual friends. 

^But all things 'Come to the man who waits, and presently^ 

A Fair Copper. 1 2 1 

when we had finished dinner and settled down to smoke, 
Brailsford commenced the story of his adventures. 

* Have you ever noticed/ he began, * how the whole course of 
a man's life may be altered by the most trivial incidents ? You 
have never considered the question ? Well, neither had I until 
the events I am about to narrate brought it forcibly home to me. 
It happened in this wise. 

* About a year ago I had occasion to go to Farringdon Street 
to buy a canary for my mother. You wouldn't think that such 
an incident as that would lead to much, would you ? Neverthe- 
less, my recent adventure can be directly traced to it, for, having 
accomplished my errand, I began rummaging the second-hand 
bookstalls. Amongst several volumes I purchased was one on 
cruising in the Baltic, which subsequently found a resting-place 
on the bookshelf of the Terpsicliore, It remained there unread 
until one evening last May, when I took it up to while away 
half an hour before turning in. 

*The Terpsichore was lying in Lowestoft harbour, having 
arrived that afternoon from Harwich. I was as usual single- 
handed, and had just started for a couple of months* cruise. I 
was very undecided as to where to go, for I was getting rather 
tired of doing the same trip year after year. Well, that old book 
settled the matter, for I was quite fascinated by the description 
of the Baltic. It was written in an attractive style, and I read 
the book through from cover to cover at a sitting. Ere I turned 
in, the morning sun was shining through the cabin windows. 

* When I woke I still viewed my projected trip to the Baltic 
with enthusiasm, and at once set about making the necessary pre- 
parations. First I bought a number of charts, and then repaired 
to a grocer's to order a large stock of canned provisions and other 
necessaries. The afternoon I spent in stowing away the stores 
and filling up water-tanks. A busy day was concluded by setting 
up the rigging and overhauling the running gear. Having com- 
pleted my preparations, I turned in at nine o'clock, with the 
intention of making an early start on the morrow. 

*By five o'clock the following day — the 17th of May — I had 
finished breakfast, and was warping out of the yacht basin. There 
was a nice little breeze from the south-east, and the sun shone 
brightly. Everything pointed to a successful passage, and I 
little thought what strange adventures lay before me when I 
sailed from Lowestoft that fair May morning. I had decided 
to visit Heligoland en route^ and taking my departure from 

122 A Fair Cooper. 

Lowestoft Ness, shaped my course for the island. Gradually 
the shore faded away in the distance, and I was presently 
** alone on a wide, wide sea ! " 

* However fascinating the open ocean with its ever-changing 
moods may appear to the man who has heard the call of the sea» 
sailing, when out of sight of land, is as a rule devoid of incident, 
so I will not dwell upon that portion of my cruise. You must 
not suppose, however, that I found the time hang heavily upon 
my hands, for the hours seemed to fly by. What with attending 
to the navigation of the boat, cooking and eating meals, and 
reading a chapter of a novel now and again, I did not suffer from 
any feeling of ennui. Although the breeze fell rather light at 
times, the Terpsic/iore made satisfactory progress, and at lo p.m. 
I reckoned that I had covered nearly eighty miles of my 
journey. I was then overtaken by an attack of drowsiness, and 
decided to have a couple of hours' snooze. Although the glass 
was falling slightly, there was but a light breeze and the sea 
comparatively smooth. Hauling the jib a-weather, I hove the 
yacht to on the starboard tack, and having made sure that the 
lights were burning brightly, turned in " all standing " on one of 
the cabin sofas. 

* It was four o'clock the next morning when I woke to find 
the yacht rolling and pitching about in a rough sea. The sigh- 
ing of the wind in the rigging apprised me of the fact that there 
was a fresh breeze. I looked at the glass and discovered that 
it had fallen two-tenths of an inch whilst I had been asleep. 
Going on deck, I cast a hasty glance around the horizon. The 
scene was a complete contrast to that of the preceding day. 
In place of the sunlit waves, with their playful little scintillating 
crests, the rising sea had assumed a dull leaden hue. An angry- 
looking red sun had just risen above the horizon, and black 
clouds, heavy with unshed rain, chased one another across the 
sky. It was a cheerless prospect to view from the deck of a 
five-tonner nearly a hundred miles from land ; but, the breeze 
being still from a favourable quarter, I determined to make the 
most of it. Therefore, after a hasty meal, I let the foresail 
draw, and once more put the yacht upon her course. 

* There was a slashing breeze on the quarter, and it would, 
perhaps, have been wiser to have snugged her down ; but one 
always likes to make the most of a fair wind. The Terpsic/tare, 
true to her name, was tripping it to a merry tune, and mounted 
the big seas like a thing of life. For two hours or more the 

A Fair Cooper. 123 

yacht bounded along on her course, rolling off knot after knot, 
while the wind and sea steadily increased. Every moment the 
sloop leapt higher, and became more difficult to steer. The 
conviction had for some time been growing upon me that I was 
in for a spell of bad weather, and should ere long have to reef 
the mainsail and shift jibs. But it was a job I did not altogether 
relish in such a heavy sea, so kept putting it off. At length 
matters reached such a pitch that it was positively foolhardy to 
run her any longer with such a press of canvas^ and the curling 
crest of a wave breaking over the counter spurred me to im- 
mediate action. Throwing off my coat, I eased the weather 
helm, and let her luff into the wind. As bad luck would have 
it, the yacht, as she spun round, caught the breaking crest of 
a sea in her big working jib, and the bowsprit snapped off at 
the stem-head like a carrot. Then I realised the danger of the 
sloop rig. By the loss of the bowsprit the mast was left entirely 
unsupported forward, and with a rending crash it broke, a foot 
or two above the deck. The yacht being then head to wind, the 
whole of her gear fell on top of me. I remember nothing 

Brailsford paused to light a fresh cigar^ and order whiskies 
and soda. 

* I now come to a portion of my story,* he continued, 'which 
I must ask you to treat as confidential, for reasons which will be 
sufficiently obvious when you have heard it. 

• When I returned to consciousness I found myself lying in 
a bunk in a small cabin, which was decorated in white enamel 
and lighted by a gimballed candle-lamp. This was strange 
enough in itself, but the rummiest part of it was that I could 
not remember how I came there, or what I had been doing 
before. On trying to think it out, I discovered, to my dismay, 
that my mind was a complete blank. I did not know my 
name, address, position in life, or anything. All I knew with 
certainty was that I lay in a berth, apparently on a large craft, 
with my head swathed in bandages and aching abominably. I 
could hear in the distance the murmur of many voices, and the 
occasional churning of the vessel's propeller, which revolved 
spasmodically, as if to keep her in some desired position against 
wind and tide. Whilst I cudgelled my brains over these 
strange happenings, my attention was arrested by the sound of 
one of the most glorious mezzo-soprano voices it has ever been 
my pleasure to hear. Accompanied by a piano, the vocalist 

vo;. xxiv K 

124 A Fair Cooper^ 

sang a verse of some plaintive sea ditty, and this was followed 
by a lusty chorus from the throats of many men. 

* Then I must have dropped off to sleep, for I remember 
nothing more until awakened by some one dressing my wounds. 
I opened my eyes and beheld at my side a vision of feminine 
loveliness. A tall girl, with a wealth of fair hair, and eyes 
which rivalled in hue the blue of a Cornish sea, was gently 
renewing the bandages on my wounded head. It was thus that 
I first met Elma Hansen. 

* I at once began to ply my fair nurse with questions, being 
naturally somewhat curious to know how I came there. She 
told me in a few words that early the previous morning they 
had passed close to a small yacht, which was lying dismasted 
in the trough of the sea. A boat had been lowered, to see if 
there was any one on board needing assistance. A high sea 
was running, and the wreck was approached with difficulty; 
but the men, finding me lying insensible and half- buried beneath 
spars and sails, had contrived to board her and bring me off. 
The Terpsichore^ appearing to be waterlogged and likely to 
founder at any minute, had been abandoned. The vessel that 
had rescued me, I was tbld, was the steam-yacht Frithjof, which 
was owned by her father. Captain Hansen. Having bestowed 
this information, and given me some hot soup, she bade me go 
to sleep, and left the cabin. 

* In a couple of days I was physically quite well again, and 
able to get about; but my mind, down to the time of the 
accident, remained a complete blank. Rack my brains as I 
would, I was quite unable to remember my name, or where I 
lived. I carefully examined my clothes, but as they consisted 
merely of a pair of flannel trousers, a boating shirt and a 
sweater, which bore no marks, I could find no clue to my identity. 
Fortunately, I had plenty of money, as I was wearing one of 
those leather money-belts, in the pockets of which was nearly 
60/. It was altogether a most absurd and embarrassing position 
to he placed in. But every one on board were very kind, and 
Captain Hansen and his daughter did all they could for me* 
They offered to put me on board of a homeward-bound smack, 
but I dreaded the idea of going ashore in that deficient mental 
state, for I. should have been as an outcast on the face of the 
world, with neither home nor friends. So I asked to be allowed 
tx> remain for a time, and the Frithjof became my home for 
many weeks. 

A Fair Cooper. 125 

'I have said the vessel was a yacht, and so, indeed, she 
originally had been ; but I soon discovered that she was engaged 
in the coopering trade. She followed the North Sea fishing 
fleet about, and was, in reality, a kind of floating hotel. When 
the smacks' trawls were down, and the men had but little to 
do, numbers of them would come aboard the Frithjof. Then 
the yacht's large saloon was converted into a miniature concert 
hall. Benches were placed athwartship to accommodate the 
audience, and on a small platform was a piano, at which Elma 
Hansen or her father presided. Elma had an entrancing voice, 
and was the idol of the fishermen. I should like you to have 
heard her sing that beautful old chanty, * Rio Grande.' I can see 
her now, in my mind's eye, standing on the little platform in all 
her beauty, the glare of the lamp turning her hair into living 
gold. Old Hansen would accompany her on the piano whilst 
Elma, with the form of a goddess and the voice of a night- 
ingale, ravished the hearts of her audience. No wonder those 
homy-handed, soft-hearted toilers of the deep loved her — 
and. Lord ! how they sang the choruses of their favourite sea- 

* Although the Frithjof was engaged in an illicit trade, she 
was run on very different lines to the ordinary type of * cooper,* 
which is the pest of the North Sea. Neither drunkenness nor 
ribaldry was tolerated for a moment, and should a man so far 
forget himself as to step beyond the pale of the accepted standard 
of decorum he was at once turned off" the vessel, and never again 
allowed to set foot upon her deck. The drink sold was of good 
quality, and the price reasonable ; but the elimination of the 
duty factor made the business a profitable one. Elma and I 
were thrown much into each other's society, and as weeks grew 
into months I learnt that I had not only lost my memory, but also 
my heart. Occasionally we would put into some Scandinavian 
port to replenish our stock, but if I went ashore I was never 
long absent from the yacht ; for this fair daughter of Norway 
had become the loadstone of my heart. Mine was indeed a 
trying position. I loved Elma, and thought — or at any rate 
hoped — that my affection was in some measure returned. Yet 
my lips were sealed, as for aught I knew I might already have 
a wife in England. But, as the poet tells us, *hope springs 
eternal in the human breast,' and I was buoyed up by the 
thought that perhaps my memory might some day be restored 

126 A Fair Cooper. 

'One day, early in January, having learnt from a passing 
smack that the fishery protection gunboat had gone north, we 
stood closer in to the English coast than we had ever done 
before, and late in the afternoon sighted a goodly fleet of 
smacks brought up, waiting for the flood to make. They were 
just within the three-mile limit, but Captain Hansen, confident 
in the knowledge that the gunboat was not on the station, 
hoisted the coopering flag, and boldly stood in amongst them. 
Soon we were surrounded by a number of boats, and engaged 
in a brisk trade. As it was getting late, and the hour of dusk 
almost upon us, we did not anchor, but merely lay to. Sud- 
denly, to our dismay, the gunboat, which we had supposed to 
he far away, appeared from behind a neighbouring headland, 

^nd made straight for us. We had been caught in a trap. 

JShouting to the smacks' boats to cast ofi", old Hansen pulled 

-over the engine-room telegraph to * full speed ahead,' and the 
Frithjof made for the open sea. 

*Our only chance of escape was to keep ahead until the 

. shades of night had fallen, and then give our pursuer the slip. 
It was by no means a forlorn hope, as it was already growing 
dusk, and the Frithjof wdiS a fast vessel. The boom of a gun, 

^evidently a signal to us to lay to, rolled across the water, but 
Hansen merely shrugged his shoulders, and held on. Then the 
gunboat began to fire at us in real earnest. The first few shots 
fell wide of the mark, but soon her gunners found the range, 

^nd made splendid practice. Although we were, I should say, 

.a couple of miles distant, shot after shot struck the yacht, and 
the result was truly ghastly. Old Hansen and the mate were 
killed by a single ball, whilst another smashed the gig into 
splinters. The Frithjof moreover, was badly damaged in the 
hull, and began to settle down. In a few moments the rising 
water put out the fires, and we lay helpless, rolling heavily in 
the trough of a beam sea. Then the darkness of night closed 
in upon us. Our only remaining boat was a large double-ended 
one, which was securely lashed on deck amidships. This was 
full of lumber, and, short-handed as we were, the task of clearing 
her occupied some little time. Labouring in the dark we got 
in each other's way, and, although we worked with a will, that 
boat was destined never to be launched. Whilst thus occupied 
we heard the gunboat storm by in hot chase of her ill-fated 
quarry. Her crew, in ignorance of the tragedy being enacted 
so close to them, were speeding in pursuit of a vessel that in a 

A Fair Cooper. 127 

few moments would be sunk deep beneath the waters of the 
North Sea. 

Suddenly the Frithjof began to settle down by the stern, 
whilst her bows hove into the air. Feeling that the vessel must 
founder in the course of a minute or two, I rushed to Elma, and 
seizing her round the waist with one arm, and snatching a life- 
buoy with my vacant hand, dragged her overboard with me. 
I shall never forget the awful feeling of despair that beset me as 
the Stygian waters closed above our heads ; but, struggling to 
the surface, I struck out lustily from the doomed yacht, to avoid 
being sucked under when she 'took her last plunge. When I 
next looked round, she had disappeared. I shouted again and 
again, but there was no response, for of all the Frithjof s com- 
pany we two alone remained. 

* Our chance of being picked up seemed infinitesimal, but 
with Elma in my arms I felt ks if I could fight Death himself. 
The sea was icy cold, and chilled me to the very bone, but I 
stolidly trod water, in a vain endeavour to keep my blood circu- 
lating. In a few minutes I was like a block of ice, and almost 
lost the use of my limbs. Elma, indeed, was already uncon- 
scious, and I, in a moment of black despair, was on the point 
of throwing up my arms and ending it, when I heard a sound 
but a few yards distant, which caused me to look hastily round. 
There, almost on top of us, was the black form of a smack 
looming up out of the darkness. I gave vent to a yell, which 
surely would have wakened the dead, and then— oblivion. 

* When next I opened my eyes I was lying in front of a fire, 
whilst rough hands were rubbing me vigorously. Sympathetic 
eyes peered at me from bearded faces, and I knew that I was 
saved. But how about Elma ? " Have you got the lady } " I 
cried, in a voice of anguish. 

*" Yes, yes, mate. She be safe and sound. Now you just 
drink this and we'll put you to bed." 

'Then I discovered that an extraordinary thing had hap- 
pened. The shock had completely restored my memory. I 
knew who I was, and the events of my cruise in the 
Terpsichore were now as clear as the light of day. This second 
shock had evidently repaired the mischief of the first. In a 
few hours I had sufficiently recovered to talk matters over with 
Ae skipper, and then learnt how we had been so miracu- 
lously saved. The smack had been travelling very slowly, as 
there was only just sufficient wind to enable her to stem the last 

128 The Fads of Celebrated Horses. 

of the ebb tide, and, hearing my shout, the helmsman had run 
to the vessel's side. Peering through the darkness, he discerned 
something floating on the surface of the water but a few feet 
distant Without the slightest hesitation the man, taking a 
turn round his arm with the fall of the main sheet, had leppb 
overboard. It was then a matter of but a few seconds fi]|r. y, 
the crew of the smack to haul us on board. When seen h^L 
the light of the cabin lamp, Elma had at once been reco^piat0 
by the captain of the vessel, who had often been on board ttt|i{: 
Frithjof^ and he was of course anxious to hear our story. So.B" 
gave him a full account of the'disaster, and we discussed- flt 
length our future course of action. He agreed with me tbst 
nothing was to be gained by publicity, and so the crew wen; 
sworn to secrecy. It was still dark when the smack arrived at. 
Yarmouth, and after an early breakfast we slipped ashore HO* 
observed, and caught the first train up to London. 

* Poor Elma was naturally greatly distressed at her fatb€C'%t 
tragic death, and, being left without a relative in the worfai^| 
took her straight down to Hampshire, and placed her in 
care of my mother. She is, I am pleased to say, slowly 
covering from the shock, and, if she continues to make 
factory progress, we are to be married in the spring.' 


By Lilian E. Bland. 

fORSES, like ourselves, have their likes and dis 
fads and fancies, and they can be as eccentric as ; 
millionaire, only such proceedings on the part 
horses are not as a rule encouraged by their ownefm| 
but here, also, there is a rule for poor and rich. A celebrated- 
racehorse is not beaten or starved into submission, like hfef*. , 
humbler brethren, when they have an inconvenient will of thc&tr- 
own ; he is, on the contrary, a somewhat pampered individulfajj, 
allowed to indulge his whims to a certain extent The life cWr 
most aristocratic horses, shut up in stables for the best part Or^' 
the twenty-four hours, is not one that tends to develop their 
brains, yet horses have more intelligence than most people give 
them credit for, and the more a horse is brought in contact with 


.' -.xurAi-^-'! 

The Fads of Celebrated Horses^ 1 29 

human beings, who will understand and make a friend of him, 
the more intelligent he becomes. 

With the present system of racing thoroughbreds as two- 
year-olds, one wonders why they are not all nervous and bad- 
tempered ; but now that racing, for the majority of owners, is 
merely a business gamble, it is no use appealing to their common 
sense. No horse should be subjected to the severe strain of 
training until his frame and muscles have had time to develop 
under natural conditions — soundness, temper, and staying 
qualities would be improved, and the percentage, of useless 
animals in training would, I imagine, be considerably less than 
it is at present. Some breeds of horses certainly have a strain 
of bad temper and crankiness in the family ; chestnut horses are 
supposed to be more hot-tempered than their cooler-coloured 
brethren. - 

The celebrated Eclipse was a chestnut horse with a very 
strong will of his own, and it is interesting to note that in the 
last twenty years his descendants, through Galopin (males only), 
have accounted for thirty-three per cent of the winners of the 
Two Thousand, Derby, and St. Leger. 

Eclipse was foaled in 1764 by Marske ; his dam, Spiletta, 
was by Regulus, a son of the Godolphin Arabian, whose name 
originally was * Scham.' The history of Scham is curious ; he 
was sent with other Barbary horses as a present from the Bey of 
Tunis to Louis XIV., and Scham brought his royal pedigree in 
an embroidered bag attached round his neck by a silken cord. 
Unfortunately, the horses were not appreciated, and, thinking 
Scham was too vicious to manage, they sold him to a carter. 

One day, when the streets were slippery with frost, the horse 
fell under a heavy load, and was being brutally ill-treated, when 
a Quaker who was passing took pity on him, and, out of com- ; 
passion, bought him for 1 5 louis, and became at the same time 
owner of a Moor and a cat, who, equally devoted to the horse, . 
had followed him in his misfortunes. After many ups and 
downs the Barb became the property of Lord Godolphin, and 
died at Gogmagog, near Cambridge, in 1753, at the age of 29. 

The hot temper, which condemned Scham to the shafts of 
a cart, relegated Eclipse (whom Mr. Wild man had bought for 
80/. at Tattersall's), to the hands of an Epsom rough-rider, who 
worked him hard all day and took him out at night on poaching , 
excursions, and, somewhat subdued by this treatment, he became 
sufficiently tame to train. ; 

1 30 The Fads of Celebrated Horses. 

He was the most self-willed horse that ever looked through 
a bridle, and his jockey, John Oakley, never attempted to hold 
him. The horse liked to make his own running in his own way, 
and he occasionally ran away, but as he always came in first, 
and never failed to pull up on passing the winning-post, it did 
not matter. Dennis O'Kelly afterwards bought him for 1750/., 
and as, apart from the races he won, his owner made 25^00/. out 
of him as a stallion, he was a cheap purchase. 

The hair from his tail is plaited into the loop on the Chal- 
lenge Whip, formerly the most prized of racing trophies, and 
his hoof, gold-mounted, was presented to the Jockey Club by 
William IV. 

Many horses are devoted to some animal, while they would 
savage any of their attendants. Dungannon was a savage at 
the stud, but one day a man driving sheep along the road, picked 
a lamb up that had become too lame to walk, and threw it over 
the palings ; as it happened, it fell into Dungannon's paddock, 
and the horse adopted it, and became so devoted that he would 
never be separated from his pet lamb— with which he is repre- 
sented in the picture by Stubbs. 

Voltigeur*s playfellow was a tortoiseshell cat ; when his friend 
was in the rack he would put up his head, and puss would crawl 
along his nose and neck to her accustomed resting-place on his 
quarters. Landseer painted the horse with his head down, 
• whispering soft things to his furry friend,' as the groom showed 
the artist that the cat would not stay on Volti's back unless the 
rugs were on. 

Horses recognise people by their voices. Don John and 
Jack Spiggot both detested Bill Scott, and became furious if 
they heard his voice ; while General Chass6, who was a glutto'n 
over his food, would pause with his mouth full and grunt if he 
heard Bob Johnson's voice ; and Fobert had to employ a code 
of signals with the boy who rode Meretrix, as she became 
nervous and fidgety at the sound of his voice. 

Lanercost's friend was a dog, who was allowed to accompany 
the horse half-way to Doncastcr before the meeting of 1841. 
Apparently, the dog did not at first miss his companion, but 
during the Doncaster week, although he had never been there 
before, he turned up at Pigburn, and rushed into Lanercost's box 
at stable-time, and both were equally delighted at meeting. 
The dog, however, was hoaxed out of the box on the pretence 
of a cat, but he revenged himself for the cat cheat during the 

The Fads of Celebrated Horses^ 1 3 1 

night, by climbing to the loft above ^nd killing a cageful of 
ferrets. He was also sadly remembered by a gentleman who 
wanted to have a peep at Lanercost in the van, while crossing 
the Mersey to Chester, and a fox, as well as his dog opponents, 
rarely survived an encounter with the champion. 

Malton would never enter a stable unless the door was very 
wide, when he would canter in ; Pantaloon hated a boy or a 
dog; while Bird Catcher's antipathies extended to pigs and 
hens, and he turned savage if they crossed his path, so he must 
have had a lively time in Ireland ! Gemma di Vergy insisted 
on always having a boy near him all day, and one had to sleep 
in the next stall at night. This dislike to being left alone 
b^an as a yearling, when, having, in some extraordinary way, 
climbed over a partition, he was found with his fore-feet resting 
on the window-sill, gravely inspecting the yard. 

Rataplan was a very lazy horse, and would lie stretched at 
full length in his box while they plaited his mane, and always 
took a siesta after meals ; but at exercise, if he chose to kick, 
no boy could remain in the saddle, and having got rid of his 
rider he would walk off home. 

Some of the inmates of the Cawston stud were 'faddy.' 
Helen, Lord John Scott's charger, whom for a bet he rode up the 
steps of the Bank in Dublin, cashed his cheque, and descended 
in safety, was devoted to a goat. This mare, like Lottery, 
Pickpocket, and others, hated a jockey, and had to be mounted 
in an overcoat to hide the colours. Hobbie Noble was nick- 
named the Hermit, for he was never seen in company, but he 
would answer to a whistle just like a dog. Camel, whom Mr. 
Theobald used to refer to as his * bit of whalebone,' had a pal in 
his paddock in the shape of a white rabbit. A horse that lived 
up to his name was Wanderer, he was always restless, and was 
never known to lie down while at the stud ; he wore a cradle to 
prevent him tearing himself to pieces. With people he was 
harmless and good-tempered, but it was impossible to catch his 
eye, for he would take no notice of any one, and just wander 
round his paddock with a vacant stare, and if the door of his 
box was left open, he would carry every bit of his litter out in 
his mouth, and put it down in the paddock. Another favourite 
amusement of his was to turn on the water-cock and let the 
water rush through the trough in his box. 

Chanticleer was one of the * mad ' horses, but I'Anson got 
him much quieter, although the horse always refused to go up 

132 The Fads of Celebrated Horses^ 

any passage, and would stop and roar like a bull, and by way of 
variation would kick all day long. His boy once tried to calm 
him in one of his frenzies, and was with difficulty extracted 
alive through the window of the box. There Is a beautiful print 
of this horse from the painting by Hillyard. 

Surplice, as a yearling, had a narrow escape : his first ex- 
perience of a snow-storni frightened him so much that he dashed 
at a wall and turned a somersault into the adjoining garden, 
fortunately with no injury to himself. 

Isaac, a beautiful grey horse by Figaro, was bought at 
Doncaster by Sam Darling for the sum of 46/. He had a very 
wayward temper, and never did much good until Sam bought him. 
Isaac Day asked to have the mount on him at Bibury, and 
returned him, saying that * his own back would never ht itself 
again after the job.* The horse was near-sighted, and. made 
tremendous jumps over his fences ; but Sam generally rode him 
in his flat races, of which he pulled off forty-six, and ran several 
over hurdles. There is a print of him from a painting by Wood- 
ward, showing Sam Darling tucking up his cuffs, which he had 
a trick of doing before a race. Isaac would not tolerate the 
touch of a whip or spur, and went best when Sam kept shouting 
at him, * Come along, old 'un/ 

Merlin, for whom Lord Foley gave 2000 guineas as a two- 
year-old, broke his leg, and his remembrance of the slings made 
a mad horse of him, and this accident was the cause of a 
remarkable kind of stringhalt ; the horse used to lift each leg 
and shake them for some seconds in succession. Tyler was the 
only groom who dared, go near him, armed with a heavy stick, 
and once in the absence of Tyler an unfortunate groom went 
into his box, and the horse tore him to pieces — he only lived 
two hours after they got him out of the box. When Merlin 
was being painted, he yapped as if he would devour both 
painter and easel, till his head and breast were all covered 
with foam. 

Red Hart used to chase his quarters round and round, until 
he had his box steaming like a vapour bath ; while Oiseau had 
his temper ruined by being pulled out three times in one week 
on the Curragh, when he was quite out of form. He was never 
easy for one moment, and would stand and listen with his head 
on one side as though waiting for some ghostly tormentor, and 
for noise he was unequalled. 

The late Duke of Portland used to say that a horse should 

The Last Day. 133 

not be allowed on a racecourse until it could face anything, and 
he carried out his theory by having his horses walked past a 
drum-and-fife band, flags, &c. ; screws of powder were also 
exploded in the corn-bin, until the horses would barely raise 
their heads out of the manger at the report of a pistol. 

jffy R. A. Boucher-Giles. 

|[HERE are plenty of partridges left, though they are 
pairing, and there are still a few cock pheasants that 
we may venture to kill, so, with beating out the rabbits 
which will be lying out in the bracken after yesterday's 
ferreting, and a chance shot at a woodcock or two, we will go 
out on the last day, just to ' finish up.' Whether there is much 
to shoot at or not, those who have had many days together with 
gun and dog during the season, like to meet just once more on 
the concluding day for old association's sake. If we didn't, even 
the beaters, whom we regard now almost as old friends, so often 
have they performed the labouring part of the day's enjoyment, 
would think we were becoming indifferent. Moreover, from a 
final walk over the chief parts of the shoot, prospects for next 
season may be formed — from the pairs of partridges that are 
seen and the number of hen pheasants left in the covers and 
spinneys. In short, we shall see what stock is left. 

For it is no large shoot, with hand-reared pheasants, that we 
are going to visit to-day : it is typical rough shooting. The few 
cock pheasants that we are going to try to kill are as wild as the 
wood pigeons that steal their food, and as 'cute as the jays that 
quickly announce to the denizens of the wild the approach of 
any intruder. One may wander about the woods with observant 
eyes, at any time of the year, and perhaps not see a pheasant, 
though we know that they are there, and can approximate their 
numbers by listening to their going up to roost, a performance 
which is announced to every one within a radius of half a mile 
or so by the noisy fluttering and the subsequent gutterals of the 
cocks in calling to each other when they are on their respective 

1 34 The Last Day. 

All the attention our game receives is to protect the nests, if 
possible, when they are in exposed situations ; in the autumn and 
winter, to scatter food at certain spots, which they soon discover 
and stealthily come for ; and last, but not least, we try to keep 
under hand the many kinds of vermin that abound— the chief 
being jays and magpies, stoats and rats. It is a pity to have to 
number beautiful birds like the jay and magpie amongst the 
vermin, but I am afraid they justify it, for their pretty outward 
garb is but a cloak to a sly and thievish character : they are 
inveterate egg-stealers. 

But we must make a start. The beaters are off to take the 
first spinney, and the other three guns are separating to take up 
their respective positions. Being a sunny morning, there will 
most likely be a cock pheasant or two in it that have strayed 
from the wood across the meadow, and the holes in the bank 
that slopes down to the brook were ferreted well yesterday, so 
we must be on the look-out for rabbits. 

A cry of 'forward!' and the sticks commence to tap the 
trees and thrash the bushes and bracken ; the liver-and-white 
spaniel, keen on his work, trots gently to the bushes on the 
sloping bank, while the retriever keeps obediently * to heel ' of 
the keeper, ready and keen to retrieve the game when killed. 

'Rabbit up!* and— bang ! the gun on the top has opened 
the proceedings : a rabbit rolling head over heels several yards 
down the bank. Another report, but this time bunny was too 
quick for the shooter, and dashed into a hole a few yards away, 
unscathed. ' Rabbit forward ! ' — it is now our turn. The rabbit 
comes rushing down the opposite bank to the brook. We take 
care to aim well in front of it, when, just as we are going to fire, 
up gets another rabbit close by and rushes ahead. In the 
confusion of the moment, the aim is changed from the first 
rabbit to the second— always a mistake — and a hasty shot fired, 
which misses ; but the first one is stopped at the mouth of a 
hole at the water's edge. 

A shot is fired a hundred yards ahead of us, half-way along 
the spinney, most likely at a pheasant, for the cocks will run like 
young ostriches, and rise and fly away unshot at, unless their 
wild movements are anticipated, and a gun or two stationed 
ahead along the narrow spinney. 

The spaniel is now working up to the hedge opposite us, 
into the bottom of which he makes a dive, and out comes a 
rabbit, almost knocking against us. We let him go thirty yards 

The Last Day. 135 

across the field, and then knock him over, an action which Dash 
sees, and, at our beckoning, goes and fetches it 

But here are the beaters nearly opposite, and as they are an 
important feature in the day's sport, let me tell you something 
about them. There arc only four of them, and these four have 
for the most part done our beating during the season, with, of 
course, a few extra ones when the birds were more plentiful, and 
when larger * beats * were taken. 

The sturdy middle-aged man, George, is the one who 
attends to our shoot. He is not a keeper in the proper sense of 
the word, but he has been interested in farming and shooting 
all his life, and being an inn-keeper and a steady chap with 
plenty of time on his hands, he ver}' wisely occupies his time by 
a bit of * keepering.' He has fed the game, killed the vermin, and 
helped to beat these woods and spinneys since he was a boy, 
so we find his knowledge of woodcraft, and game generally, very 

The one next to him, with a sh'ght stoop, Tom, is a car- 
penter by trade, and a useful man on and around a farm. He 
can do anything, from enclosing a covert with a wooden fence to 
making a door for a stable. But he is a keen sportsman at heart, 
and would rather earn half-a-crown and a rabbit a day, as a 
beater, than five or six shillings at his own trade. 

Then there's Harry. He's a good beater and splendid at 
marking game, but I am afraid that is all that can be said to 
his credit. Nobody seems to know what his occupation is ; if 
you ask you will be told that * he does odd jobs ;' and * odd jobs ' 
comprise, among other things, rabbit and mole catching, and 
a little hedging, thatching, and harvesting in their seasons. He 
is also known to be a wonderful shot with a catapult. He has 
the credit for being * a sly 'un,' but as we have nothing against 
him, and he behaves himself, he usually makes one of our party. 

The last — the lad — is Jim ; a regular farmer's boy, and 
though none would take him to be a townsman, yet, as I have 
heard him say, he has * got some oil in his lamp ; ' and truly he 
has, more than many a town lad, who, in intelligence, would 
compare unfavourably with many so-called ' country-bumpkins.' 

Now we will walk to the end of the spinney, for if there are 
any pheasants in, they will have run to the end. You see that 
there is one gun at the top corner and one at thi? bottom, so 
with the one on the other side and myself, anything on the wing 
would be certain to be shot at. Rabbits now begin to dart 

136 The Last Day. 

about, and the gun across the brook knocks a couple over in a 
very sportsmanlike way, the reports startling two hens, which, 
protected by cries of * 'Ware hen ! * are allowed to go in peace. 
The spaniel, rustling actively among the segs at the bottom, 
puts up a fine cock, which, with gurgling cries and heavy 
fluttering, gets fairly on the wing and sets his course for the big 
wood; but his career is cut short, and Nigger has the satisfaction 
of carrying the bird to his master, who, in keeper-like fashion, 
examines his spurs and pronounces him a * last year's bird ; ' and 
thinking that the spinney had been well beaten, even to the hedge, 
we all proceed to the next beat on the programme, when from the 
bank on the other side the brook another cock rises, the spaniel 
springing up underneath it, and the bird rockets noisily off to 
our left Guns are hastily levelled and triggers pulled, but the 
wily bird is out of range, and he goes chuckling off. We see 
him settle in the big wood, perhaps gratefully aware that he is 
safe from the terrifying swish of leaden pellets till another season. 
Thus we receive another lesson on the necessity of beating a 
cover thoroughly to the end. 

We are now going to the Oak Coppice : it is a rather 
uncertain wood for pheasants, but rabbits are fairly numerous, 
and there is always a chance of finding a woodcock, so we 
usually try it Four beats are made of it, and the thick parts 
beaten assiduously. Several hen pheasants are allowed to go 
unmolested, and the rabbits dart about in front of the beaters, 
who, when they are nearing the end, endeavour, with discordant 
cries and vigorous beating, to keep them in front and drive them 
across the rides, where a gun is sure to have a snap-shotjas 
bunny darts across. Many of the rabbits break back though, 
notwithstanding, and so does a cock pheasant which had squatted 
amid the outcry and allowed the beaters to pass by him ; tall 
bushes intervene, and no one can get a clear aim, so he goes, 
his shyness having probably saved his life. Another cock, 
having run ahead of the beaters, sees two guns in front so stops 
till the spaniel is almost upon him ; but flight is the only 
alternative now, and he affords a good sporting shot as he 
rises to top the trees. 

Two or three of the beaters place the rabbits which they are 
carrying. in a heap to be picked up later on, and a move is made 
for a * dingle ' not very far away. We are startled by a cry of 
* Hi, rabbit ! ' behind us, and a hasty shot is taken as he dashes 
through the hedge that borders the wood we have just left 

The Last Day. 137 

He is hit in the hind quarters, and on our going to look is 
nowhere to be seen ; but the spaniel has his nose in a hole and 
commences to scratch, upon which indication Harry throws off 
his coat, pulls the dog away, and is soon wriggling with cheek 
on the damp earth as he lies on his side and endeavours to 
reach the wounded rabbit, for it is a standing rule that all 
wounded game must be quickly sought for and dispatched. 

' I can just touch 'im,' says Harry, as he tries to push his 
arm yet farther into the hol«. 

* Mind *is tith, 'Arry,' suggested Tom, with a smile ; and ' Is 
it 'is *ead or 'is 'eels as youVe got 'old on?' asked Jim. 

'You'd better take to yourn when I gets up,' answered 
Harry, referring to the "eels,' and he backed out and pulled 
the struggling rabbit out after him, which squirmed about in the 
firm grasp and commenced to squeal. 

* ril stop 'is squealin',' says the captor, and with a firm, quick 
motion of the hand on the rabbit's neck he dispatched it, 
and, tossing it down, brushed the dirt off his clothes with a 
nonchalant air. The guns exchanged significant winks ; to 
dispatch a rabbit with such celerity and neatness comes of long 

We will go and beat the dingle now ; the guns and beaters 
will beat it all down before them, and you and I will stand at 
the point, in case anything comes forward. If we are quiet we 
shall probably see something of the interesting wild life of the 
dingle. See ! there are young rabbits already : in our mild 
winters and these warm, secluded places, young rabbits may 
generally be found — not that it is very mild this time. 

We hear the sticks begin to beat at the other end, and the 
first to make its presence manifest is a jay, which with harsh cry 
jerks on ahead and settles half-way along. We hear a hen 
pheasant flushed, followed by a cock, then a report, and — thud ! 
The jay thinks it is time to leave, and comes in our direction ; 
but not very near, for he soon spots us and hurries off at right 
angles to a less dangerous resort. 

Several more shots — presumably at rabbits. But see this 
family of pretty little birds with long tails flitting towards u$ 
with a stringing flight, and their incessant plaintive little chirps*! 
They are long-tailed tits, known about here as 'mumruffins.' 
Jim would know them by no other name. They will be pairing 
soon, and every one has seen or heard of their beautifully coh^ 
structed nests. 

138 The LasrDay. 

But look ! Keep quiet ! Here's a stoat coming towards us. 
See him ? He has stopped nowv He has raised his head, and 
evidently sniffs danger, and if he will come a few yards nearer 
he will realise it, for though he is a dapper little fellow with his 
lithe body, cream-coloured front, and black-tipped tail, yet he is 
a deadly enemy, and is shot at sight. Hist ! here he comes. 
Bang ! When the little cloud of dust has cleared away, the 
stoat is seen lying motionless. We will go and have a look at 
it now the beaters are drawing near, but don't touch it — stoats 
invariably emit an abominable odour when wounded. See, even 
the spaniel treats it very gingerly. A cock pheasant and four 
rabbits are the result of this beat. 

But it is lunch-time now, and we all make our way to * the 
cottage by the wood,* wherein we have lunched so many times 
before. The gaudy prints depicting the * Sailor's Homecoming' 
and the * Eagles* Nest,' with the * Presents from Aberystwith ' 
and the photos of the family, have long ceased to provoke 
humorous comment. 

After having taken the edge off our appetites, we sit round 
the fire for a short time, and recall the eight brace of partridges 
killed in the square field of potatoes, the first time they were 
walked ; and the days when .powder was particularly straight ; 
and some when it was decidedly crooked. One day, in particular, 
when two members of the party resolved to shoot no more — but 
the resolutions wera soon broken ; one of the two is shooting 
to-day, and the other has been shooting so well since that he 
would probably forget that bygone resolution, if we didn't 
remind him — often. And you may be sure that the old sports- 
man present was reminded that the chance of a right and left at 
woodcock was a chance of a lifetime in these parts. What a 
pity that he was over-anxious, and missed both. 

The beaters are at the garden gate, however, waiting, and we 
are going to have a few drives at the partridges on the hills. 
Most of them have paired, it is true, but there are plenty of 
them ; almost too many, really, for we were unable to pay proper 
attention to them in September, and there are not many killed 
when they get so wild that we have to resort to driving. We 
cannot persuade or force them to leave the hills for the valley. 

It has taken some time to climb up ; the beaters are leaving 
us to drive the wheatfield and the seeds towards us, so we will 
take our positions. Two pairs rise, and whirr away as we 
proceed to do so ; but they are hardly within range. We 

The Last Day. 139 

stand well back behind one of the thickest parts of the hedge, 
and watch a pair of bullfinches working along the hedgerow, 
hoping that they will evade the diligent bird-catcher, during the 

The spaniel sits contentedly by, occasionally wagging his 
tail and looking up ; he knows what is going on, and for what 
purpose we are quietly standing. 

* Mark over ! ' and soon another shout We are on the qui 
'znve, but nothing comes our way; perhaps they have broken 
back. A double shot rings out on the extreme left, and we think 
we see a bird fall. The spaniel trembles with excitement, and 
gives a little whine, but soon settles down. Another cry of 
warning from the distance, and five birds go whizzing past the 
gun on our right. Bang I bang ! No ; five they came, and five 
they go away. Three birds follow over the same gun soon after, 
but this time he atones for the previous misses, and brings down 
one with each barrel. . But one of them isn't dead, look ! and 
IS running towards the hedge. 

Presumably, more birds are going in the wrong direction, for 
we hear the * mark over's ! ' but don't see the birds. But there 
goes a single bird over the next gun to us. He gets a clear shot 
as it flies towards him, and the bird turns in our direction. 
The second barrel is quickly discharged, but the bird is un- 
touched. Now is our chance. No ! — behind it An elm- 
tree won't permit a second shot Will it get past the sole 
remaining gun ? It is going like a thunderbolt Bang ! bang ! 
yes, it's gone. It has run, or rather fled, the gauntlet of all three, 
so it deserves to live. Yonder it goes, till it is lost to sight in the 
valley. May it be safe from prowling cats, and steel traps, and 
pouncing hawks till another season. Another single bird is 
killed just as the beaters appear in view. 

We will go and see if we can* pick up the * runner,' and then 
we will leave the partridges, and make our way for the Wood- 
cock Covert. The earth is moist, and Nigger soon gets on the 
scent of the winged partridge, bores through the hedge, and 
follows the trail up the hedge-side, to be lost to sight over the 
brow ; but returns soon, proudly carrying the bird. 

I hope we shall get a woodcock ; but we are not likely to 
see many. The winter has been more severe than usual ; and 
our experience is that they favour these parts more in the mild 
winters. When there is a severe spell of frost, presumably they 
leave for places where food is more easily procured. Perhaps 

I40 The Last Day. 

they seek the fens and marshes near the coast A good number 
of woodcock annually breed in the large woods of the midlands, 
and even these make themselves scarce when the weather is 

One gun goes along with the beaters, and the others are 
placed at points of vantage. Shots at intervals suggest that 
rabbits are breaking cover. We hear a pheasant get up noisily, 
and the gun inside with the beaters has a shot, but the bird 
isn't touched, and is coming towards us. It's an awkward shot, 
though, the branches are in the way ; — no, he goes away 
unscathed, and we long, momentarily, for a third barrel, 
guaranteed to kill at seventy yards. Only momentarily though, 
for the love of slaughter is not very strong. Several hens arc 
disturbed, and more bunnies try to get past the guns with more 
or less success. 

Now the beaters are on the boarders of the rushes, and if 

there is a woodcock at all, he*ll be . The familiar 'clip' of 

the wing, and the rather noisy flutter, followed by excitable 
shouts of * Mark cock ! mark cock ! ' and the coveted bird 
darts within a few yards of us, and up towards ths sky. The 
gun is raised simultaneously, but — terribly provoking !— the 
surrounding thin saplings prevent a shot ; and the cock follows 
his usual flight, and aflbrds a splendid shot to the gun at the 
point George had flushed this bird twice in the course of his 
rounds, marked his flight, and had placed a gun just right for it 

It is all over now ; and we approach and congratulate the 
smiling sportsman, while he extracts the two little feathers to 
wear in his hat as souvenirs of the event. It is a flne bird, and 
after every one has admired and fondled it, George puts it 
into his large pocket 

In reply to our inquiries, he tells us that the bag is : Ave 
pheasants, two brace of partridges, a woodcock, and sixteen 
rabbits. Not a bad bag for the last day of the season. Guns are 
emptied, pipes lighted, and we make our way to the cottage. 
Darkness is falling, wood-pigeons are circling above the trees 
preparatory to roost, and we leave the familiar woods and 
spinneys, mutally regretting that the season is over. 

•■•• "■ ■''■" \ 

( 141 ) 


By C. M. Greswell and M. V. Wynter. 

[HE last any one saw of him was just as hounds crossed 
the Walla Brook. George had lamed his horse so 
badly over those filthy boulders that Marsden sent 
him home. My own horse was so beat to the world 
that I could compete no longer, and my last distinct recollection 
is of our poor friend yelling out that he meant to kill that stag 
at all costs, and seeing both him and the hounds disappearing 
from view as if they might run to eternity. 

* I don't know the God-forsaken country any better than you 
do, Faylem, but Yelverton tells me by all accounts the pack 
were running straight for Cranmere, and that is the boggiest, 
beastliest bit of the whole moor. 

* If one only knew anything definite,* said Frank Faylem ;l 
'but to think of poor old Peter lying with a broken leg oa 
a granite boulder, or down one of those bog-holes, which they 
say reach half-way to Australia, that is the sickening part of" 
the whole business.' 

'Without even a drink to solace his loneliness,' remarked: 
his companion, helping himself liberally as he spoke from the- 
tantalus which stood at his elbow. ' Fancy Peter reduced to* 
lapping up bog-water ! He was always of Jorrocks's opinioar 
that if water rots your boots, what must it do to your inside^ 
and never let it pass his lips undiluted. But the question is, 
what can have become of him ?' 

* My dear chap, you have remarked that at least one hundred 
times already to-night. Unless you can make some more 
original statement, for goodness' sake shut up. It gives me the 
blues to listen to you.' 

* Let us go over the whole case again,' he continued, and 
see that no important point has escaped us. To begin with, 
the Headon country being full of mange and short of foxes, 
Peter Marsden was glad to accept Jim Carew's invitation and 

142 The Missing MS.H. 

bring his hounds down to Dartmoor for the last three weeks of 
the season to hunt some of the outlying deer. I, as his^f^ 
Achates^^i course accompanied him, and you, old friend, seeing 
a chance of free board and lodging, it is needless to observe, 
brought your hair-trunks along to complete a happy family 
party. Ji|n Carew, with true Devonshire hospitality, placed 
Ashburton Manor, stables and kennels at our disposal, and 
himself departed to join his wife at Monte Carlo, and I have 
no doubt we should have shown the natives the excellent sport 
he anticipated save for the unfortunate fact that our first run of 
any importance left us without either a Master or a pack of 
hounds. This, as you know, happened exactly eight days ago 
to-night, and it is to me inconceivable (even in this benighted 
country) that a sound, active fellow of eight-and-twenty could 
disappear and leave no sort of trace behind him.' 

* Yes, indeed,* chimed in Mr. Fisher, * and when you consider 
that all those shepherds and guides we have had on his track all 
the while have not even succeeded in finding his horse, the 
mystery is, to my way of thinking, one that Sherlock Holmes 
himself would be puzzled to unravel. You take my word for it, 
there is a woman concerned in it somehow,' he concluded, 

* Oh, Tommy, you are very young in spite of all the pains I 
have taken with your education 1 We all know our lost friend 
would go far for the sake of a petticoat, but even Don Juan 
himself would think twice before engaging in an amour in the 
middle of such a hunt as we were enjoying on Tuesday week, 
when we saw him last.* 

* I suppose even a Dartmoor stag can't run for ever,* said his 
listener obstinately. * I bet Peter has got to ground ' — (* Stags 
don't run to ground ; but, still, that is a detail,' murmured the 
other) — * in some snug little crib,' continued Tommy. * We 
shall hdar of him again, just exactly when he chooses, and no 
sooner. Joking, apart, however, I seriously think we ought to 
put the matter in the hands of the police, and advertise for him 
in the Western Morning News* 

*A11 the local papers if you like while we are about it,' 
returned his companion. 

'Something after this fashion: "Lost, on the 13th inst, 
between Ivybridge and North Tawton " ' (* that is a wide area,' 
he remarked in parenthesis), *"Sir Peter Marsden, Bart, of 
Headington Hall, in the county of Hereford, master of fox- 

The Missing M.S. H. 1 43 

hounds, and at the present time staghounds also" (we had 
better put that in, as the true Devonian classes the stag- 
hunter as incomparably above the mere fox-catcher from the 
Midlands). ** Height, six feet one ; weight, a secret between 
him and his horse;" so we will only add, "broad in proportion. 
Dark hair, brown eyes, clean shaven, determined-looking sort of 
customer." * 

' Determined do you call it ? Deuced obstinate I should 
say,' interrupted Fisher again. 

* Same thing,' said the speaker imperturbably. ' That's why 
the women run after him so. They always admire a masterful 
man — until they get him. " A thousand pounds for his body, 
dead or alive." That will not be too much ; it is a mere flea- 
bite for the Headington estates.' 

* I never in my life saw hounds run as they did on that 
memorable day, though,* said the first speaker. * The sportsmen 
of these parts must be accustomed to big points ; but, without 
exaggeration, it was nineteen miles, every yard of it, from where 
we laid on to where I left them.' 

* You left them. Tommy, you miserable little devil, you. 
Sultana and I were close behind, and you know we rode 
home together. In fact, you and the whip would never have 
reached home at all if it hadn't been for my extraordinary bump 
of locality. The guide-book is perfectly correct in describing 
Dartmoor as a country of magnificent distances Personally, 
I should change the adjective, and call it diabolical. 

* It was really grand the way hounds streamed along all the 
same,' he continued reflectively. ' I got a flying start, and took 
all the right turns ; if not, there would have been little hope of 
recovering lost ground. Marsden was on his best horse — so, 
fortunately, were we ; but it was all we could do to live with them 
through those first two hours. The stag seemed to have a 
weakness for running the line of all the streams he could find, 
and the pace was so good he never gained much distance on 
the hounds. Stags are grand fellows. Tommy ; now I've seen 
them at close quarters I can understand their being called 
" lords of the forest" The way our quarry swept along that day 
with head held high and neck set straight, through all that 
wild gallop never seeming to falter, leading on from mile to 
mile, I would give something to know whether in the end he beat 
hounds or not. 

* It was after passing Grey Wethers that we lost those five 

1 44 The Missing M.S.H. 

farmers who had stuck to it so pluckily ; old Coryton and his 
pretty daughter disappeared near Thirlstone. It was ten 
thousand pities Ridler stuck in the Black Bog; he was the 
one man who I should imagine would have saved the situation 
if it had been possible. But it's getting late, Taylor/ he con- 
tinued as he rose up and stretched his long length before the 
cheerful blaze. * If we are to proceed with this bootless quest 
to-morrow, what do you say to turning in ?* 

Tommy being perfectly agreeable to the proposition, the 
two companions filled one more glass apiece to drink success to 
their undertaking on the morrow, and were just preparing to 
extinguish the lamps and shut up for the night when the excited 
terriers on the hearthrug warned them of something unusual 
astir. The dogs* barking drowned the sound of halting footsteps 
moving across the parquet hall, but immediately the door was 
opened the clamour turned to joyous greeting, for, in spite of 
blood-stained features and torn clothing which would have 
disgraced a tramp, in the newcomer the faithful canine hearts 
recognised with unerring instinct their beloved master — no less 
a person than Peter Marsden himself. 

' By Jove, old chap, where have you been hiding yourself? 
We have been tramping the Moor, and seeking you in vain for 
days and days.' 

Marsden v/as in too exhausted a state to answer questions, 
or render any account of his doings ; he dropped into the nearest^ 
chair in such a state of collapse that Fisher went off at once 
to rouse a slumberous serving-man and summon the local 
practitioner from Bovey. 

Even after the doctor had paid his visit, there was nothing to 
do but to follow out his emphatic command of warmth, rest, and 
absolute quiet, and several days elapsed before the patient was 
sufficiently recovered to be able to offer any coherent account of 
his past adventures. 

At last the day came when he could be propped up high with 
pillows in the carved oak bedstead, which was one of Jim 
Carew's most treasured possessions; the doctor had done his 
best, but he was still a wreck of his former self. 

* Rags ' and * Tatters ' were coiled up at his feet with a thorough 
appreciation of the situation, and Taylor and Fisher were 
ensconced on either side of the wide fireplace with a happy 
consciousness that at last justifiable curiosity was in a fair way to 
be gratified. 

T/ie Missing M.S. H. 145 

' I must begin, you chaps/ Sir Peter commenced, * where I 
saw you last, when hounds were running like the devil after we 
had crossed the Walla Brook. I warn you that you will probably 
think what I am going to tell you absolutely impossible to have 
happened in this year of grace 1907. Still, I am neither mad nor 
drunk, and everything exactly as it occurred is real gospel truth. 
' Hounds ran on I should think three miles further after I left 
you, and I was beginning to get uneasy about the Cranmere 
bogs, which I knew must be somewhere close at hand. I had 
sighted the stag, very beat, a little way ahead, and at last, after 
almost another hour's slow, patient hunting, the poor brute soiled 
in a little hillside stream, and I contrived to take him, with 
fearful difficulty though — he gored poor old Vanguard rather 
badly in doing so. 

* It was getting almost dusk, nearly 7.30 I should think — 
*pon my soul, till that moment I had been so excited I had 
hardly given a thought to the idea of getting back. Then it 
flashed across my mind that I was all alone, with a tired horse 
and dead-beat hounds, as far as I knew, miles and miles from 
any human habitation, and with little or no knowledge of the 
district or locality. I reckoned that at the lowest computation 
I must be thirty miles from home, so my only idea was to find 
as speedily as possible some shelter for the night for us all. 
I didn't dare burden poor old Solomon with the stag's head, 

"^ though I was very loth to leave it, but making a rough chart of 
my bearings as well as I was able on the back of a letter which 
I happened to have in my pocket, I managed to fix the trophy 
in the curved fork of a tree close at hand, with the hope of re- 
turning to fetch it on some future occasion. 

* We walked on and on in what I conceived to be the 
direction of Fernworthy village. Solomon was lame now, and 
poor old Vanguard walked with difficulty, so you can imagine 
my thankfulness when I at length descried a twinkling light in a 
hollow close below me, and found it to be a little stone-built 
farm possessing quite a decent yard and loose-boxes. 

* A civil sort of farm labourer was just shutting up the stables, 
but when I explained my predicament he assured me in the 
broadest Devonshire that I was "welcome." We made the 
hounds comfortable with plenty of straw in a big, empty bam 
with all the loaves and milk we could commandeer from the 
house, and Solomon was accommodated with a loose-box, and 
evidently was very thankful to get his supper. 

146 The Missing M.S.H. 

• I left my new friend rubbing him down, and turned my 
steps to the front door, where the bell responded to a moderate 
pull with an alarmingly noisy clamour. The summons was 
answered by a decent-looking, middle-aged housekeeper, who 
said her husband had already explained the situation, and she 
ushered me into a warm, comfortable study ; no farm house- 
parlour as I had expected, but a room evidently occupied by a 
gentleman of cultured tastes. I was not left long to survey my 
surroundings, for in less time than it takes to tell, my guide had 
returned and conducted me to a well-furnished bedroom, where 
a blazing fire and a steaming bath had been prepared for me. 

* " If you will ring when you are ready, sir, for me to fetch 
your wet clothes, I will come back," she continued, " and mean- 
while perhaps you could manage to make shift with these things 
of the master's." 

* " The master " must have been a size smaller than I was, but 
" any port in a storm " has always been my motto, and the 
baggy tweeds were fairly accommodating. At last, feeling ready 
to do justice to anything in the shape of food that might be set 
before me, I found my way downstairs again, and March trout 
and a haunch of Dartmoor mutton, followed by fruit and cream, 
. washed down by a bottle of Mouton Rothschild, convinced me 
that my unknown host thoroughly understood how to make him- 
self comfortable. 

* I was rather anxious to see what manner of man it might 
be who thus voluntarily exiled himself in the loneliest tract of 
land to be found in the West Country. A "book-lover and a 
student evidently, also a connoisseur in old silver and furniture if 
the dainty appointment of house and table were any guide. I 
helped myself to a fresh cigar, and drew my chair up to the fire 
in meditation, for I was piqued by the situation. Suddenly a 
quiet voice at my elbow made me start : it proceeded from a little 
old gentleman of about seventy years of age, who had crept into 
the room unknown to me, and now announced in slow precise 
tones that he. had been waiting for Sir Peter Marsden for nearly 
thirty years. 

' He didn't look a patient individual, and thirty years are a 
long time to wait for anybody, so, concluding my host was what 
the West-country folk term " balmy on the top," I determined to 
humour him, and soothingly remarked that I was sorry I had 
kept him waiting. 

' " What have you done with her ? " was his next questi(»i. 

The Missing M.S.H. 147 

" It was a spring evening just like this, Sir Peter, when I 
returned from Exeter and found you had tempted her from he^ 
home. I though she would come back, and I could have for- 
given her even then, but she never did — she never did. Tell 
me," he whispered, coming nearer and placing a heavy hand on 
my shoulder, " is she dead ? " 

* Here was a nice predicament, to be accused of running 
away with a woman I had never set eyes on ! He Xvas so in- 
sistent about it too, made such scathing remarks about the 
Marsden features, and the bold brown eyes, which had lured 
an innocent woman to her ruin. At last, finding the 
soothing treatment of no avail, and my host getting every 
moment more dangerously excited, I pleaded overwhelming 
fatigue and sought the pleasant room where I had changed my 
clothes, registering an inward vow to make tracks for home as 
early as possible in the morning. 

* I took the precaution of locking the door, but just as I was 
dropping off to sleep, I thought I heard footsteps in the passage. 
Yes ! I was not mistaken, they were followed by the sound of a 
heavy bolt being slipped outside my door. The old lunatic had 
made a prisoner of me. I went to the window and drew aside 
the thick moreen curtains, but no means of exit lay behind them ; 
the windows were barred with heavy iron bars, not six inches 
apart, like a prison cell. There was nothing to be done but wait 
till morning, but sleep had departed, and I prowled round and 
round the room trying to devise a. means of escape, and seeking 
some reason to account for the extraordinary treatment I had 
experienced. It was evidently a case of mistaken identity. At 
last, in pure idleness, I reversed a picture which hung with its 
face to the wall, and in an instant I knew the solution of the 
mystery, for there gazing, down from the old-fashioned gilded 
frame, was a pastel portrait of my mother. I knew it in an 
instant, though it must have been taken when she was a very 
young girl, before disillusion and disappointment had saddened 
the smiling eyes and round childish features. 

* She had died when I was a schoolboy at Eton, but things 
half forgotten, and at the time but dimly understood, came back 
to me as I stood there, and I realised that the clock had gone 
back thirty years, and, to the failing intellect of the old man 
downstairs, I stood in my father's shoes — the identical Sir Peter 
Marsden who had run away with his friend's young wife and 
mined his home, in a now far-away shadowy youth. 

148 The Missing MS.H. 

* To make a long story short, I was kept shut up in my 
prison for seven days and nights. I assure you, the old chap did 
the thing in quite a medieval style : food handed in through the 
window twice a day by means of a cord and basket, and all that 
sort of thing, and I was expecting only the tortures of the 
Inquisition to end my captivity, when, to my intense surprise, 
one morhing my gaoler melodramatically flung open the door 
and told me I was free. I was too astounded to speak, but 
mechanically I walked downstairs and proceeded into the yard 
to look for my horse and hounds. The old man followed me 
with a queer, sarcastic grin on his thin lips, which boded ill for 
my quest, and leading in a leash a savage-looking Cuban blood- 
hound. At last he spoke : — 

* " You will not find either ydur horse or your hounds. Sir 
Peter ; like yourself, I have a preference, with which I am sure 
you will sympathise, for other people's property. Long ago, you 
told me I was no sportsman because I failed to share your 
passion for the chase ; now my opinions have changed, and I 
fully agree that hunting is a kingly sport — provided the quarry 
is of a breed that needs exterminating from the face of the 
earth. Doubtless, you have been interested in bloodhounds : 
they are an especial hobby of mine, and I venture to think that 
my dog. Gamester, has been trained to a very high pitch of 
perfection, and is capable of successfully hunting a trail even 
though laid on as long after as twelve hours. I only propose to 
give you twenty minutes' law. Sir Peter, so unless you are 
endowed with great native resourcefulness and unusual adroit- 
ness, I scarcely think you will elude recapture." 

* " And in the event of my being recaptured, sir, may I ask 
what you intend to do with me } '* was my very natural query. 

* " Oh, that," the old gentleman replied airily, " I think we 
may safely leave to Gamester," and he gave an affectionate pat 
to the great brute by his side. 

* The affair was solid, deadly earnest, and at his last words I 
went through that yard door like lightning, and in a moment 
found myself again on the open moor. I started off" at a 
bungling jog in what I conceived to be a direct line for 
Fenworthy, which I had calculated must be the nearest - 
village ; all the horrible and gruesome tales I had ever read of - 
slave-hunting in Cuba and bloodhounds tracking criminals to 
their doom crowding into my brain as I ran. I dare say it 
sounds funny enough to you fellows sitting quietly here, but, I 

K- ijiM-Ak'\ 


The Missing M. S.H. 1 49 

can tell you, to be cutting across Dartmoor for dear life with a 
" Gamester " at your heels \& a deuced unpleasant predicament 
to be in. 

' I had won many pots for sprinting at Eton and Oxford in 
my time, but the course had never been laid over anything 
as wild and rough as I was now called upon to tackle.. Progress 
became every moment more and more difficult ; the ground 
was rent by fissures and rabbit-holes into which I perpetually 
stumbled headlong; sometimes I was even obliged to leap from 
tussock to tussock of heathery bent to avoid the soft, black soil 
which did not look safe going to the feet. Every crack seemed 
filled with water, and the ground was soaking and shaking, so 
that my progress was necessarily slow. 

* I shall never forget the impression of awful loneliness that 
seemed to gather over me : as far as I could see, only dark 
swamp and stretches of dreary heather ; nothing was visible 
beyond the rolling ridges and the great Tors, which seemed to 
shut one in, and, to crown all, a thick moor mist was coming 
on, which blotted out every landmark and filled me with the 
hopelessness of despair. The twenty minutes were up long ago ; 
I ought to be very near Fenworthy if I had kept on the right 
track, but no sign of any village or even shepherd's hut could I 
see, although, in imagination, I already heard the blood-curdling 
bay of the great hound who was by this time on my track. I 
wandered on and on, till I lost all count of time or distance, 
and began to think the " native resourcefulness " which the 
old man had twitted me with must be conspicuous by its 

*At last I came to a stream of running water, and 
remembering this carries no scent, thought I might break my 
trail by wading a little way down it, climbing up the over- 
hanging bough of a little stunted birch-tree, then returning to 
earth again by the further side of the tree and resuming my 
way afresh. I really believe this saved my life and threw 
Master Gamester off the scent — at all events, it must have 
given him a nice little tangle to unravel. 

Somewhere about dusk I fetched up at the Hut Circles, and 
got a shepherd from there to get a trap at the Portbridge inn 
to convey me back to Widdecombe. I suppose by that time I 
looked a pretty ghastly figure, and they were half-inclined to 
shut me up again — this time in the role of an escaped convict 
from Princetown, but I managed to convince them of my 

1 50 The Missing M.S.H. 

identity at last, and they drove me to the Lodge gates — the rest 
of the story I think you chaps know.' 

' You don't know the sequel yourself, yet, Peter,' said Taylor, 
quietly. * Solomon and the hounds were brought safely back to 
kennel by an old chap on a white cob, the very day after your 
own return. Orlwood said the messenger seemed to be in a 
deuce of a hurry ; would answer no questions, and not even stop 
for a drink.' 

* That's something to be thankful for,' said Fisher. ' Now it 
only remains to get on the track of that murderous old friend of 
yours and clap him into Broadmoor Asylum.' 

* I dare say you will think me very quixotic,' said Sir Peter, 
with a whimsical smile, * but, after all, I was only paying my 
father's debts. I never want to set eyes on the old fellow again, 
but I have decided to leave him alone and to take no further 
steps in the matter. One thing I can tell you for certain, 
however, and that is, I am "off" stag-hunting for good and all, 
and we return to Headington and civilisation as quickly as the 
local line will permit* 

( X5I ) 

By F. G. L. 

[he amateur coper's the man I uphold — 
He resorts to all kinds of devices — 
If he'd make both ends meet, his small treasure of gold 
Has to see him through various crises. 

Horses have to be found, buyers have to be sought — 

Every hunt wants a bumper subscription ; 
There are wages to pay, oats and hay to be bought, 

And expenses of every description. 

So he can't be too careful to get the right sort, 

One that gallops all day without failing : 
Let him carry both ends as a good hunter ought. 

And stay on when the others are tailing. 

He must bend his sleek neck to a touch of the rein, 

And be steady at all kinds of paces ; 
Jumping straight from his hocks in and out of the lane. 

Without thought of the danger he faces. 

Should his ears seem too long, or his forehead too wide, 

It's not always from coarseness of breeding ; 
Never mind what they say, the fault's on the right side — 

Friends will make these remarks without heeding. 

With a tapering muzzle, an eye bright and full, 

And a back that is strong, broad, and limber, 
If he's made the right way he won't know how to fall, 

Though you face him at water or timber. 

Let his withers be high, and his shoulder fall back 

At the right sort of angle— correctly ; 
If he's short of a rib, or his loins are too slack. 

When you mount him you'll feel it directly. 

1 5 2 The Amateur Coper. 

His girth should be deep, with full room for his heart, 
And his chest should be open, not narrow — 

He was never intended to go in a cart, 
Or to walk round the farm with a harrow ! 

He should pick up his feet as though walking on eggs 
With the hind ones the front overlapping, 

Going perfectly straight without crossing his legs, 
And his coat should repay you for strapping. 

From his hips to his hocks he cannot be too long. 
And his pasterns should be slightly sloping ; 

From hb knee to his fetlock, short, bony and strong — 
That's the sort for the man who loves coping I 



By 'Snaffle/ 

IHE establishment of a race at Newmarket * to be 
ridden by apprentices only — no whips allowed/ has 
provoked considerable comment in the daily news- 

For my own part I welcome it as the thin end of a wedge 
which shall eventually put an end to the use of all whips in two- 
year-old racing, if not altogether. I have been, in my quiet way, 
agitating for this for years. 

The only argument (.?) which I have seen produced on the 
other side is the one that trainers know best how their horses 
should be ridden, and would give their apprentices a whip, or 
not, as they consider necessary, according to the horse they put 
them on. But trainers are mortal, and boys are unreliable ; and 
thus we get the picture, familiar to my eye, of two youngsters 
whack-whacking at two unhappy two-year-olds, a dozen lengths 
or more behind the winner, who, indeed, passed the post some 
seconds ago. 

Now, I write as one who has himself ridden, both on the flat 
and under N.H. rules. I never got into a racing saddle without 
a whip in my hands ; and I have invariably found those hands 
much too busy, if it came to anything like a finish, keeping my 
horse straight, and getting the utmost out of him, to spare one 
for the exhibition of the * flail.' But not for that reason would 
I deny the uses of the whip to a more experienced jockey than 
myself. No one who, like myself, has seen Fred Archer sitting 
down and driving a sluggish horse in front of him with repeated 

1 54 Turf and Stud. 

and savage cuts, could. But Archer was by no means an idead 
man on a two-year-old. I doubt if Tom Cannon ever hit one, 
though he never got up without a whip. What a treat it was 
to see him persuading a green and sulky youngster that what it 
really wanted was to gallop its best and straightest 

Every one who knows anything about racing knows, how- 
ever, that the legitimate uses of a whip on older horses, and 
in races run over a distance of ground, are various — and often 
unavoidable. It is the useless flogging, at the finish, of game 
but beaten horses, that I want to see put an end to. 

Some time ago the ingenious American invented and proposed 
to put into practice mechanical persuaders, whereby it was to be 
in a jockey's power to apply electric or galvanic (I am no 
scientist) shocks, as a stimulus to his mount. L^^lation 
promptly came down heavily on this sort of thing, but in logic 
the difference between this and a cutting whip is only a matter 
of degree. Each is an unnatural means by which it is supposed 
a horse may be induced to gallop faster. I say ' it is supposed,* 
because there are many horses which are by no means so 
induced — on the contrary. Take the very common case of a 
young thoroughbred horse which refuses to negotiate a little 
jump, say, a wet ditch not a yard wide. In my experience there 
are many such horses, which no amount of flogging will induce 
to jump. They kick, rear, plunge, and try to bolt away when 
they are hit, but never one foot nearer the obstacle do they go 
for punishment. Now, as this is a question of character, it 
seems to me that as they, and their like, act in this case, so they 
do under punishment in a race. There they are galloping, and 
so they go on galloping ; but every time the whip comes down 
they harden their hearts against it — and gallop slower. As the 
turf reporter says they * cut it,* or * show themselves curs.' But 
really they show a high untamed spirit, which will not be 
conquered. Everybody knows the horses which the turf- 
reporter says * only show their best form with So-and-so in the 
saddle/ or 'run kindest with Blank up.' What they mean is 
that the jockeys named are horsemen^ which, perhaps, few jockeys 
are, and in sympathy with their mount. Put up a green boy,. 
and he may flog all the way, but he will never induce the horse 
to do his best ; whereas, if the horseman hits him at all, it will be 
at the right time, and it will be taken in good part by the 
equine partner in the affair. 

On reading this paragraph over again, I am inclined to think 

Turf and Stud. 155 

that it may be taken amiss, but it is impossible to discuss 
jockeys * on the active list ' by name. It is, perhaps, better to 
take the amateur list, now, unfortunately, so small that no offence 
can be given. At the head of this stands, almost undeniably, 
Mr. George Thursby, who, if not a great jockey — and I have 
heard this point argued by good judges on both sides — is, in my 
opinion, undoubtedly a great horseman. This instance will show 
what I mean as r^ards professionals. 

But to return to the whip. Some half-dozen years ago I 
bought a three-year-old in training. What the whip meant to 
this animal may be gauged from the fact that when it had been 
out of training six months, a lad was going on it into our market 
town on an errand. After he had mounted I remembered a 
driving-whip which required repair. Another man ran out to 
him to give him this whip, at the mere sight of which the 
youngster threw itself across the stable-yard, and nearly caused 
a bad accident. Now that horse is, and has been for many a 
long day, absolutely steady when a hunting-crop is cracked 
anywhere, off its back or by its side. 

After all, the only logical, the only defensible cause of the 
existence of racing is the improvement of the breed of horses. 
Amusement, excitement, and gambling may be the three real 
objects of all our vast turf machinery, but they are none of them 
causes which could be advanced in argument against a purist. 
But advance the solid argument, and he will meet it with the 
reply : * Why, then, do you use whips ? Surely the desirable 
horse is not only the fastest, but the most generous — the one 
which has the instinct to do his best, without being punished to 
make him do it. If I buy a harness horse the dealer cracks him 
up by saying he will do his twelve, or more, miles an hour 
without the whip. Why then is the racehorse a good one that 
will only do his mile in a certain time if he is flogged in the last 
furlong ? * 

I have no answer to this argument. Has the reader ? 

Here we come to a kindred poiht — I mean the use of 
blinkers and such appliances in racing. Of course I know, 
every one knows, their object, which is to deprive a horse of the 
knowledge that one or more other horses are emulating him and 
racing by his side, because if he had that knowledge, his currish 
nature would induce him at once to desist from going his fastest. 
The working of the horse's brain in this matter is obscure, to me 
at least ; and it may be that it is only that he connects the 

156 Turf and Stud. 

racing with other horses with the (in his experience) generally 
forthcoming hiding before the matter is over. He may be 
cunning enough to have noticed that if he is well behind several 
other horses at the finish, he escapes that hiding altogether. 

But the point I would make is this : do any breeders ever 
object to use a stallion which has won a number of important 
races because that horse invariably ran in blinkers ? I am sure 
they do not. I will go further and leave the racecourse for a 
moment. Recently a decision has been come to that in judging 
stallions for the King's Premiums for Hunter Sires, their turf 
performances should be taken into consideration. Has it ever 
been suggested, even, that in so doing they should be informed 
whether the horse ran in blinkers ? Yet it seems to me that 
it is a point of no little importance in a question of hunter- 
breeding, whether the sire is of a staunch and bold character 
or not. 

Since I wrote the foregoing, several important racing 
questions have been raised, and I think I should not leave them 
altogether untouched here. They may be conveniently classed 
under two heads : firstly, starting, and secondly, riding. 

The first of these is a question which simply bristles with 
difficulties. As one who has not only ridden, but also started, 
races under the old conditions, I must say that it is unthinkable 
that we should ever go back to the old flag start. At the same 
time it is obvious that when a dozen or two of horses in racing 
condition are crowded together in front o( a bartieTf and standing 
still, the risk of injury to one or more of them is very great, and 
also the possibility of injury to man may prevent some of the 
jockeys from bringing their mounts to the place where they 
ought to be when the tape rises. 

Would it not be possible — I make the suggestion with all 
modesty — to divide the course laterally at the starting-point with 
white, slight hurdles, six feet high, say, and ten feet long, so 
that each horse would come into a sort of pen of his own, and 
there await the rising of the tapes ? Of course I shall be told that 
horses would not face these * dens,* but that would present no 
more difficulty to the trainer than does the present barrier. A 
more cogent objection lies in the fact that on many, perhaps 
most, courses there is not room for this arrangement when there 
are many runners. Lastly, there is the case where the starting 
ground is traversed again in a race. Still, I think my plan might 
be tried. 

Turf ana Stua. 1 5 7 

As to the question of race-riding, this is a matter little, if at 
all, short of serious. Never have there been so many cases of 
bumping, and crossing, to say nothing of jockeys falling off or 
going over the rails, as this season. But when we find an 
authority like Mr. Watson stating in print that he never has 
seen at one meeting three important races so literally lost by 
bad riding as were the principal ones at the Epsom meeting, we 
feel that it is time that something should be done. 

Some years ago — to begin ab ovo — there appeared on our 
English racecourses an American lad called Sloan, who was un-» 
deniably a success. His methods were novel to us in two^ 
respects, firstly in his peculiar crouching seat, and secondly in his 
practice of riding his horse throughout — making every post a 
winning-post, in fact. Sloan's successes induced a belief that 
these two things were the essentials of successful race-riding ; 
and, without exaggeration, one may say that those two methods, 
govern the practice of riding races in this country to-day. 

But the real fact of the case is that Sloan was not a success 
because of his methods, but because he arrived on the scene at 
^ time when the turf was suffering, as it does to-day, from a 
slavish and indifferent imitation of the methods of others. 

Our lads had been, in the slang of the day, * fed up ' with 
the traditions of the knowledge of pace of one great horseman, 
the powers of * waiting in front ' of another, the * Chifney rush,' 
and the * Archer finish,* till they had got into a dawdling style of 
riding in which races were more often than not entirely false-run 
affairs, A. watching and waiting on B., and quite surprised at C.'s 
not coming back to him, and so on. On such traditions Sloan 
came down like a hammer on an anvil, and won race after race. 
Then occurred the inevitable, the imitation of the methods, just 
as before, without consideration of the old saw, that what is one 
man's meat is another man's poison. Had this been remembered 
should we have seen Slieve Gallion ridden as he was in the 
Derby, Polar Star in the Coronation Stakes, Hasty Girl in the 
Oaks } 

But there is another point, more important I think, since 
horsemen, like poets, are born, not made. Sloan introduced the 
* monkey on the stick * seat ; and we were told that this was 
obviously the logical position for a man riding races. Physics 
were called into question (or is it dynamics ?) to show us that this 
position gave us, firstly, the greatest opportunities for the horse 
to exert his driving power, and secondly, the least resistance to 

158 Turf and Stiid. 

the wind. As usual, what our friend, the racing editor of Truths 
calls the * ^ullish herd ' followed in Sloan's footsteps, foi^etting 
that when a man or boy gets on a horse to ride a race, the roost 
important thing of all is, that he should remain there. In a second 
but almost equal degree comes the point that he should have 
some say as to where his horse is going. Now, both these very 
important points, as this racing season has amply proved, are 
apt to be overlooked by the lovers of the * American seat.' 

Men like Archer and Fordham may not have sat on the exact 
' fulcrum * to give the greatest leverage to a horse's galloping 
powers ; but where they did sit they remained, and where 
they wanted their horse to go, he zc;^/— laterally at any rate, 
for as to coming away in front they could no more always 
do so than Barrett on the historic occasion when he informed 
* Mr. Manton ' that * he couldn't come away without the horse, 
your Grace ! * 

But what a horse could do, such horsemen as these made him 
do; and that is just what our lads cannot do. Hence the 
bumping finishes, two distressed and beaten horses rolling against 
one another in spite of what the lads on their backs — no, on 
their necks — can do, the objections, even {prohpudor) at Ascot 

We must, however, rest content with the knowledge that this 
is a matter now safely in the hands of the Turf Club. In future 
those who put up men in a position in which they cannot control 
their horses, and the lads that allow themselves to be so put up, 
will 'stand in slippery places' — and indeed not impossibly 
' stand down ' also. 

To go back to the question of racing, judged by the canon of 
its being a means whereby the British breed of horses may be 
improved, I have before me, as I write, yesterday's paper, con- 
taining the description of a thousand-pound plate for three-year- 
olds. Weights : * colts, 9 stone ; fillies and geldings, 8 stone 
1 1 pounds.' Now, apart from the question whether three pounds 
is a sufficient allowance to bring fillies and colts together in 
April — and it is one on which a good deal might be said, and 
in this particular race no filly was in the first half-dozen — ^we 
have here, and in most similar races, an allowance made to the 
unsexed. To me this is altogether indefensible, if racing l^is- 
lators really consider the question of the improvement of the 
breed of horses at all. If this point is to be kept in view — and 
I think it certainly ought — it would be much more to the point 
to penalise geldings, or perhaps even not to let them run at all. 

Turf and Stud. 159 

Of course we all know that, in nearly every case, colts are cut 
on account of their bad temper. It is, I believe, the stock argu- 
ment on the other side that this is really for the benefit of the 
breed of horses, as, if it had not been done, the colts would ulti- 
mately fall into the hands of small men and be used as country 
stallions, with the effect of handing down their evil tempers to 
their posterity. Whilst not denying the force of this argument, 
it is not to be contradicted that the point of temper is not much 
taken into account in such matters. If it were, should we see, as 
we do see, sons of Robert the Devil in use as country stallions ? 
Another argument used in favour of the gelding allowance is that 
good horses will never be cut, and that the more bad ones so 
treated the better for the breed. Therefore, it is desirable that 
this allowance should be made to induce owners to cut in a 
doubtful case. However this may be, it is certain that no mere 
human being can be absolutely certain how any colt, if sounds 
will turn out. It is not so many years since a gelding, Curzon, 
was very near winning a Derby. Whilst it is, humanly speaking, 
probable that except as a gelding he would never have appeared 
at Epsom at all, it is at the same time possible that if he had run 
as an entire colt he might have won the race. The exact 
difference between the powers of a horse and a gelding is perhaps 
not so easily reducible to pounds avoirdupois. 

Now, when we come to racing under the rules of the National 
Hunt — and the very name of the thing shows how zealous its 
stewards should be in the interests of hunter-breeding — and 
notably to its blue ribbon, the Grand National Steeplechase, how 
do matters stand ? Well, first of all that on general principles 
the winner, and even the runners-up in that race should be the 
ideal hunter sires of the world, for do they not exhibit speed and 
stamina, staying and jumping powers, alike ? But what is the 
fact in practice ? Well, that, generally speaking, the winner of 
the Grand National is never a stallion. Of course there are 
exceptions, but the only one I recall to mind in recent years is 
Grudon. To that horse's stud career I am looking forward with 
interest, tempered by the fact that I know nothing whatever 
about him. He may of course be a sufferer from hereditary 
disease ; in fact, he might, for all I know, be dead, for since his 
win I have heard no word of the animal. 

As for the fact that, as I believe I am warranted in saying, 
no female winner of the Grand National has ever done much as 
a brood mare, this is not germane to the question. Grand 

1 60 Turf and Stud. 

National winners are almost invariably horses of some age. In 
fact, without the book to refer to, I should say the 1907 winner's 
age, five, is exceptionally low, and anything under this unknown. 
Six, and more generally, aged, is the description put against 
their names. Now, it is notorious that a mare who has been so 
hard worked as most, in fact all. Grand National winners are, is 
very unlikely to produce anything wonderful when put to the 
stud after that. But a horse can effectively commence to 
reproduce his sex at, any age. I had one, a winner both on the 
flat and over a country, whom I saw commence his career as a 
country stallion at about fifteen, and it was a very successful 
career too. Only last hunting season a farmer said to me, * We 
shall never have a better horse down here;' yet it is quite a 
dozen years since the old horse died. Equine memories are not 
kept green so long without reason. 

Of course the particular race we are discussing is a handicap 
in which no allowance to a stallion is possible — unless, indeed, it 
were an instruction to the handicapper to be lenient to entire 
horses, as such. But there are many weight-for-age steeplechases 
run during the winter — more, indeed, than handicaps. Would it 
not be possible to make stallions an allowance in these, or rather, 
perhaps, to penalise geldings, in the interests of hunter-breeding? 
My argument is this : a good gelding wins a steeplechase, but 
is not of any possible use to posterity ; whereas a stallion not so 
good, but able to win the race with a seven-pound allowance, 
might make a most useful country stallion. If we had more 
ex-steeplechase winners at stud — as we have practically none — 
should we see, what we saw this year, the Grand National won 
by a 50/. horse ; and not a horse of any great class behind him ? 
I put the question to the junior member of the N.H. Committee, 
my old friend, Mr. Morris Owen, 

I should like to see this Committee set to work enei^etically 
to consider why steeplechasing should be so much more suc- 
cessful in France than in England : and not be too proud for 
once to learn something from the other partner in the entente 
cordiale. For one thing, I myself think that what strangles the 
'illegitimate game* is the bookmaker. I remember some 
seasons ago asking a well-known man the price of one of more 
than a dozen runners in a three-mile steeplechase over a fairly 
stiff provincial course. * Seven to four I'll take, sir,' was his 
reply. * Why,' rejoined I, * I wouldn't lay you that odds that 
any one horse in the race will get the course.' Nor would I. 

1 urf and SUid. i6i 

Almost all steeplechases are run at totally false prices. There 
is not much money to lay, I suppose ; and the constant fear of a 
starting price coup paralyses the pencillers. But there must be a 
cure for this state of things. Firstly, it might be the totalisator, 
which I sometimes think, and hope, is bound to come, in spite of 
grandmotherly legislation. Then again, the N.H. Committee 
might set their faces against S.P. betting, decline to allow prices 
to be published, and pronounce all bets so made void. For it is 
evident, if men are to keep horses for steeplechasing, most of 
them are going to do it for money. Now, there is small profit in 
a thirty or forty-pound stake ; and if to back your horse for a 
tenner is to put him to such prices as I have referred to, there is 
no margin for the thing to prosper. 

Why does steeplechasing prosper in Australia, as it certainly 
does? Is it because, as in France, they have the totalisator? I 
do not know, but the N.H. Committee ought to, and if they 
don't, they ought to find out, and apply their knowledge here. 

Now I am on this subject of betting, I want to mention a 
modem, and it seems to me a very objectionable, innovation. At 
the end of last hunting season we had the usual point-to-point 
races in my district, the accounts of which were published in the 
papers. In every case — I speak of four or five meetings — the 
starting price of the horses was quoted after the account of the 
race. Now this is all wrong. That people will bet on every 
form of contest we all know — look at the money that changes 
hands over a football match — but in my opinion the bookmaker 
should be eliminated from point-to-point meetings. In fact he 
could be, for there is no place on such courses where the police 
are helpless. Betting at such meetings is illegal — ready-money 
betting, I mean. I am the last to suppose a rider or his friends 
should not back their chance or opinions — amongst themselves, 
or that ladies should not put their money into private sweep- 
stakes. In fact I would vote that, as at a Hurlingham or 
Ranelagh pony-race meeting, a totalisator should be used. But 
the bookmaker is out of place at such a scene, and as for the 
idea of a starting- price commission, it is outrageous. 

Point-to-point races, in my opinion, have degenerated a good 
deal in recent years. The first step was when they ceased to be 
point-to-point. It is all very well to say that it was difficult for 
people to see such contests, but after all a finish under a hill can 
generally be arranged. I think flags were, and are, a mistake. 
From flags and round courses to trimming fences was a step. 

1 6 2 Turf and Stud. 

and now we have got to starting prices ! In fact these meetings 
are now in many places little steeplechase meetings; and are 
harmful to the local gatherings under N.H. rules. This is all 

It is only fair to myself to say that these lines were written 
some time before the recent discussions on these points ; but I 
am glad to know that I am in agreement with such authorities 
as Lord Lonsdale. I think I am right in saying that the 
presence of the bookmaker was not specially mentioned as one 
of the departures of the modern point-to-point race from the 
original thing ; but I hope, nevertheless, that it will be one of 
those of which the powers that be will take notice. 

That which is certain is that point-to-point races were never 
intended for steeplechases. But it is equally certain that a very 
large proportion of the horses which ran at the point-to-point 
races in my vicinity during this present year of grace, went on to 
run at the nearest regular steeplechase meetings. This is 
undeniably rough on the regular * fox-catcher.' 

Although, to some, it may seem hard that the horse who has 
carried you well throughout the season should, at its end, instead 
of going to his well-earned rest be put into some sort of training, 
and then asked to do what he has never done before — t,e. gallop 
and jump without the exciting presence of hounds — real point- 
to-point races are a natural outcome of our human nature, and 
of a desirable spirit of rivalry. 

Certainly they are a better outlet for this than the competi- 
tions of a past generation, where they were actually ridden to 
hounds ; and must often have kept the Master's recording angel 
busy. Such matches have often been described in Fores' s* Dick 
Christian was a great man at this style of contest 

Some years ago one of the hunts on Dartmoor held, and 
perhaps still holds, a real point-to-point. The course was from 
the top of Something Tor to the top of Something-else Beacon — 
some four miles of bog, rock, and heather, with a finish of 
exceeding steepness. Nothing less like a racecourse could be 
imagined — or even less like a steeplechase course, for the only 
fences on the line were a rough stone wall or two. 

Nevertheless, I held it an ideal point-to-point race. It was 
exactly the sort of country the members of the hunt had to ride 
to hounds over — experto crede — for I have ridden it with hounds 
running fast almost yard for yard in the reverse direction. The 
whole course was practically in view from the finish, and it was 

The Emperor of Stallions. 1 63 

a thorough and satisfactory test of the local hunter. Such 
conditions every point-to-point race ought to fulfil. 

If you go down to that country, of which I am not going to 
mention the name, the natives will tell you the time they do that 
course in. If you do like me, you will not believe them. 


By F. iNSKip Harrison. 

|1HE Stockwell branch of the Eclipse line disputes 
with that of Galopin the pre-eminence among the 
great thoroughbred families as traced in tail male, 
and being more widely diffused perhaps deserves the 
palm. Certain it is that whilst the prepotency of the Galopin 
line has generally seemed to centre in one alone of its repre- 
sentatives, the descendants of the Stockwell branch have nearly 
all shared in the* family ability, and therefore its continuance 
in power appears to be the more likely. 

Stockweirs parentage hardly gave promise of the great things 
that were to spring from the union, as his dam, Pocahontas, had 
previously thrown nothing of account. In addition she was no 
beauty to look at, lacking entirely the quality one looks for in 
the best class of thoroughbreds, and was moreover a * roarer,' a 
fact which had acted detrimentally against her racing career. 
Usually * roaring ' is a hereditary complaint, particularly when it 
is the dam who is tainted ; but Pocahontas's stock, curiously 
enough, showed no signs of this infirmity. It was to the Baron 
she threw Stockwell, and by the same sire she also had Rataplan, 
whilst to Harkaway she threw King Tom. The lines of both 
Rataplan and King Tom would appear to be dying out, as 
King's Messenger is the latter's only representative in this country, 
and though Wisdom, Rataplan's grandson, is, through his 
descendants, making a great struggle for existence, utter ex- 
haustion would only seem a matter of time. To those who take 
every opportunity to decry what they are pleased to consider 
the folly of in-breeding, it may be pointed out that Wisdom, 
Rataplan's sole bulwark, was the produce of two cousins, 
Blinkhoolie and Aline, son and daughter of the own brothers. 

1 64 The Emperor of Stallions, 

Rataplan and Stockwell, respectively. Dr. Bellyse, of Audlem, 
it was, I fancy, who was wont to breed his own cocks for fighting 
purposes from the most incestuous eggs, and few of other strains 
could stand against them. The same applies exactly to the 
thoroughbred. In-breed to the best strains, and the finest 
results will accrue. 

To deal now with Stockwell's career. A great awkward- 
looking customer as a youngster, it was early evident only time 
would reveal his possibilities. Accordingly in his first season he 
only ran twice, and, though beaten, performed sufficiently well to 
indicate the possession of great merit. The * early birds * in the 
^ know * took long prices about him for the following year's Two 
Thousand Guineas, and he had no difficulty in winning. The 
Derby, in the ordinary course of events, would have been a good 
thing for him, but a gumboil troubled him so much he could not 
be sufficiently exercised, and went to the post far from fit. The 
boil was lanced shortly before the race, and the game race 
Stockwell ran in the circumstances came quite as a surprise. 
He might have won had he been able to get clear of the 
scrimmage which occurred at Tattenham Corner, but he was 
pressed on to the rails and his chance destroyed. He won his 
next three races, and went to the post for the St Leger in the 
pink of condition. Opposing him was Daniel O'Rourke, the 
winner of the Derby, but the last-named never saw the way the 
great colt went, Stockwell winning in a canter by ten lengths. 
The following year he only ran once, when he was just beaten 
by Teddington in the Ascot Gold Cup, whilst in 1854 he wound 
up his racing career by running home thirty lengths in front of 
Kingston for the Whip. 

Retired to the stud, Stockwell at first made little mark, but 
his fame grew as the years passed, and when he died, in 1870, it 
was with the credit of having sired three winners of the Derby 
and six of the St. Leger. Stockwell's produce won more in stakes 
than those of any other sire, either before or since, and his record 
in the year 1866, when his stock aggregated the enormous total of 
61,391/. in stakes, has only been approached on one occasion, in 
1896, when St. Simon's stock won 59,734/. The favourite * nick * 
for Stockwell was to mate him with Touchstone mares, thus 
re-uniting the Camel blood through its most potent branches ; 
but he possessed such remarkable vitality that he got first-class 
winners out of the most unlikely mares. Particularly, however, he 
nicked well with the Queen Mary blood, as out of the last-named's 

The Emperor of Stallions. 1 65 

two daughters, Blink Bonny and Haricot respectively, he got a 
winner of the Derby and St. L**ger in Blair Athol, and another 
of the St Leger in Caller Ou. Paradigm also showed a remark- 
able affinity for him, as she produced Lord Lyon (winner of the 
* triple crown*), and Achievement (winner of the One Thousand 
Guineas and St. Leger) when mated with him. Lord Lyon was 
bred by General Pearson, who owed much of his success on the 
turf to the fact that he was an enthusiastic student of breeding 

It is not very difficult to discover what was the trend of his 
ideas when he mated Stockwell with Paradigm. In the first 
place. Paradigm was a grand-daughter of Touchstone, a cross of 
whose blood with Stockwell's, results had already proved to be 
successful. But probably General Pearson looked further than 
this. Paradigm, the dam of Lord Lyon, was a member of the 
most successful branch of what has come to be known as the 
No. I family. Her great-grand-dam, Pawn Junior, was full sister- 
in-blood to the great racehorse and sire, Whalebone, both being 
by the same sire. Waxy, out of own sisters. Now, it cannot 
have escaped notice by any one versed in the subject, that to 
return blood like this, present in tail female, in the direct male 
line, is one of the most promising ways of achieving success. 
Paragone, the sjre of Paradigm, was a great-grandson of Whale- 
bone, the concentration of strains that produced the latter thus 
being present both at the top and bottom of her pedigree. In 
mating Paradigm with Stockwell, General Pearson further 
strengthened the amalgamation, as the last-named horse was 
also a descendant in tail male of Whalebone. Moreover, 
Stockweirs paternal grand-dam. Echidna, was a grand-daughter 
of Whisker, brother to Whalebone, whilst his maternal grandsire, 
Glencoe, was a grandson of Web, sister to Whalebone. 

Lord Lyon early gave promise of exceptional racing abilities, 
but it is probable that the severe tests he successfully survived as 
a yearling did him harm, as, though he carried off the ' triple 
crown,* it was only by a head he won the Derby from Savernake, 
and by an even narrower margin that he captured the St. Leger 
from the same horse. Lord Lyon was, comparatively speaking, 
a failure at the stud, sireing only one classic winner, Placida 
(the Oaks). His best representative, however, was Minting, a 
horse probably of as good class as himself, but unlucky to be 
foaled in an abnormal year. Minting brought in the same 
blood in the direct female line as his sire — hence his success as a 

1 66 The Emperor of Stallions. 

racehorse. As a stallion, however, he has been an even more 
conspicuous failure than his sire, and as it is on him that Lord 
Lyon must depend for the continuance of his line in this country, 
it appears likely that this branch of the StocVwell blood will soon 
be non-existent. 

Of Stockwell's other classic winners, Marquis, Blair Athol, 
Bothwell, and Gang Forward have all proved negligible quantities 
in this country as far as transmitting their merits to posterity is 
concerned ; but his son, Doncaster, on the other hand, has estab- 
lished one of the most powerful families in the stud-book. 

Including only those horses who have made a name for 
themselves, the line of descent may be traced as follows : — 

Doncaster(winner of Derby) begat Bend Or (winner of Derby). 
Bend Or begat Kendal. 

Bona Vista (winner of 2000 Guineas.) 

Ormonde (winner of 2000 Guineas, Derby, 
and St. Leger). 



Kendal „ Galtee More (winner of 2000 Guineas, Derby, 
and St. Leger). 

Bona Vista „ Cyllene. 







Cicero (winner of Derby). 
Flying Fox (winner of 2000 Guineas, Derby, 
and St. Leger). 

Doncaster was bred by Sir Tatton Sykes at the Sledmere 
Stud. He was out of a mare called Marigold, who had only 
just been beaten in the Oaks of her year. She was a great- 
grand-daughter of Touchstone, so here again the value of the 
cross with Stockwell was exemplified. Mr. Merry purchased 
Doncaster as a yearling for 950 guineas, w{ien he was known as 
* All Heart and No Peel.* He won the Derby ^yith the son of 
Stockwell, and could also have secured the St. Leger with him 
had he not had in his own stable a slightly better horse in Marie« 
Stuart. When Mr. Merry gave up racing, Robert Peck got 
Doncaster for 10,000 guineas, and re-sold him to the Duke of 

The Emperor of Stallions. 1 67 

Westminster for 14,000 guineas. Doncaster went to the stud in 
1876. He never headed the list of winning sires — the nearest 
approach he made being in 1884, when he finished third to 
Hermit and Sterling. Practically all his ability was concen- 
trated in his son, Bend Or, who was out of a mare named Rouge 
Rose. There was the example of Lord Lyon to show that this 
cross would probably prove successful, Rouge Rose being a 
half-sister to Paradigm, Lord Lyon's dam. Bend Or not only 
won the Derby, but the City and Suburban, carrying 9 st. An 
objection was laid against him after he had won the Derby, on 
the ground that he was a colt known as Tadcaster, but it was 
overruled. When Bend Or went to the stud, the Duke had 
little hesitation in deciding what mare, for one at least, should 
be sent to him. This was Lily Agnes, who had already thrown 
a classic winner in Farewell to his sire, Doncaster. The fruit 
of the union was Ormonde, possibly the best horse, without 
exception, ever foaled. Ormonde was never beaten, and won 
in stakes 28,465/. In his first year at the stud he got his greatest 
son, Orme, as well as Goldfinch, and his subsequent failure as a 
staUion may be traced to the serious illness which befell him 
during his second year of service. Orme combined the blood 
of the two finest horses ever bred, for his dam, Angelica, was an 
own sister to the mighty St. Simon. His was an unlucky 
racing career, or at least one of the * classics * would have fallen 
to his share. At the stud, however, he made amends, when he 
sired Flying Fox out of a mare named Vampire. The last- 
named was a daughter of Galopin, and so returned the blood of 
the same horse in Orme's pedigree. It was freely predicted in 
various quarters that the in-breeding to such an excitable strain 
as that of Galopin would spoil Flying Fox*s career as a race- 
horse, particularly as Vampire introduced more of the Vedette 
blood on her dam*s side ; but these excursions and alarums 
proved false. Indeed, Ormc's best stock have invariably been 
out of Galopin and St. Simon mares, and none of them has 
shown any striking tendency to evil ways. 

It is a remarkable circumstance that the six sons of Bend Or 
enumerated in the list above were all out of Macaroni mares, 
and four out of six descended in tail male from Agnes, as 
Ormonde was. The other two, Laveno and Orvieto, traced in 
tail female to the same source as their sire, and it is quite evident 
that mares of the No. i family particularly suit Stockwell sires. 
Kendal was nearly full brother in blood to Ormonde; but, 

1 68 The Emperor of Stallions. 

though a good racehorse, was of a class much lower than the 
other. Out of the same mare, Morganette, he got a triple-crown 
hero in Galtee More and Blairfinde, a Derby (Irish) winner. 
Galtee More was expatriated at the end of his racing career, but 
Blairfinde, out of Income, has already sired a good horse in 

Bona Vista won the Two Thousand Guineas for his owner, 
Mr. C; D. Rose, but is better known to fame as the su-e of 
Cyllene, a horse whose absence from the entries alone pre- 
vented him from enrolling himself on the scroll of 'triple- 
crowned heroes.* Cyllene has only been at the stud a short 
time, but has already sired a Derby winner in Cicero. The 
last-named*s dam. Gas, is a member of the No. i family — 
another illustration of the remarkable affinity between such 
mares and Stockwell sires. 

After Bend Or, Stockwell owes most to St. Albans and Lord 
Ronald for the continued endurance of his line in this country ; 
an alliance of the first-named of this pair with Viridis produced 
Springfield, who begot Sainfoin, winner of the Derby and sire 
of Rock Sand, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas, Derby, and 
St. Leger. Springfield represented again the old successful 
cross of Stockwell on Touchstone, his dam, Viridis, being a 
great-grand -daughter of the last-named mare. Viridis traced 
to the same source in tail female as Eclipse ; and Stockwell, with 
his many crosses of that horse, was just the sire to suit hen 
Springfield did not run till late on in his two-year-old days, but 
was seen out five times ere the end of the season, and was 
beaten twice, Kisber, subsequent winner of the Derby, making 
an easy victim of him in the Dewhurst Plate. The following 
year Springfield ran nine times and was never extended, but 
he was even better as a four-year-old, and his defeat of one 
Derby winner, Silvio, in the Champion Stakes, will never be 

At the end of his career he was purchased to stand at the 
Hampton Court paddocks, where he was bred. Among the 
royal mares was a daughter of Wenlock and Sandal, named 
Sanda, and to him she threw a chestnut colt called Sainfoin, 
destined subsequently to win the Derby. Sanda was a direct 
descendant in tail female of the Oaks winner. Lady Evelyn, and 
was full of the Whalebone strains, which results had shown were 
better adapted to Stockwell sires than any other. Three of her 
four grandparents traced to Whalebone, and, in the circum- 

Tlu Emperor of Stallions. 169 

stances, it would have been surprising had she failed to throw a 
good horse to Springfield. 

Sainfoin was purchased at auction by John Porter and the 
late Sir Robert Jardine, in partnership, for 550 guineas. He 
ran once and won, as a two-year-old, and after he had captured 
the Esher Stakes at Sandown, the late Sir James Miller bought 
him for 6000/. and half the value of the Derby if he won the 
latter race. The Epsom event in due course fell to him, but 
they were a moderate lot he had to beat, and there is no doubt 
he was quite a stone behind the best class of Derby winners. 
Sainfoin still stands at the stud in this country, but he has been 
much neglected, and had not the late Sir James Miller sent 
Roquebrune to him and so given him the chance of siring Rock 
Sand, he would have doubtless sunk into an obscurity past 

Roquebrune was a beautifully bred daughter of St. 3iinon 
and the classic winner, St Marguerite. She cost her owner a 
big sum at auction as a yearling, but was so delicate she could 
not be properly trained after her two-year-old days. Her dam, 
St. Marguerite, was composed of just the blood to suit Sainfoin, 
being by Hermit, grandson of Touchstone, out of a Stockwell 

Rock Sand, like his sire. Sainfoin, proved a good honest 
racehorse, though not in the first class, and his three successes in 
the classic races he owed more to the poverty of the opposition 
than to his own merits. His expatriation to America has 
depleted the St. Albans branch of the Stockwell line con- 
siderably, but Sainfoin may yet get another as good. 

The Lord Ronald branch of the Stockwell line has come 
down to us solely through Master Kildare and Melton. The 
last-named was out of a mare tracing to sister to Newminster, 
and represented the successful cross of Stockwell on Touchstone. 
He sired a good horse in Best Man during his first few years at 
the stud, and was then sold to go to Italy. Repurchased for 
this country by Mr. J. Musker, the best of his stock since then 
have been Henry the First and William Rufus, and the present 
indications are that there is a great likelihood of bis line 
coming to an untimely end. 

( I70 ) 


By Clifford Cordley. 

UT remember, my love, that it must be a warrant- 
able deer,' said old, gouty General Caisson. 

* Of course, father dearest ; of course,' answered 
Kitty Caisson, an only child, and, therefore, petted 
and spoiled so far as limited means would permit indulgence. 
Father and daughter were in their own sitting-room, at the 
Fortescue Arms Hotel, Dulverton, in the middle of August 
It was the hour of tea and of confidences. 
The conversation had commenced by the girl's remark that^ 
as the morrow would see her last hunting day on Exmoor, 
before they returned home to Daisyshire, she must have a slot 
to remind her of dear, delightful Devon, and the glories of 
hunting the wild stag in the hill-country of that and the 
adjoining shire. 

* I must have a slot, to-morrow — I really must have a slot,* 
repeated the dark, handsome, vivacious girl. 

* And I say,' returned the General, * you require the slot of a 
warrantable deer — a stag fully six years old, with brow, bay, and 
tray, and at least two on top of each horn : a slot from two to 
three inches wide at the heel. You want a slot^ I say ; not a 
pig's-foot or a sheep's trotter. Mind that, Kitty, my love. I 
wish I could come with you ; but, what with the weight of 
seventy years and eighteen stone to carry, and with what the 
doctors call arthritis and podagra (but which I call, simply 

d ble gout), to say nothing of a pain in the chest, which 

forbids more horses than yours — you know very well I can't.' 

The girl expressed her sympathy, with her ruby lips, in more 
than one way ; and the old man continued : — 
I * You'd better go to the meet with young Dorstone — I like 

that young fellow. His father. Sir Camaby, is a good chap. No 
better soldier ever wore a spur or sat in a saddle than he, in the 
old, old days when he and I rode in the same squadron of the 
67th Lancers.' 

* You like Mr. Dorstone, daddy ? Well, I don't like him (and 
I don't think he likes me). How can I like a dwarf, as fair as a 
lily, and weighing only a little over eight stone ? ' 

The General said something about the attraction of opposites. 

A Warrantable Deer. 171 

* In my case/ replied Kitty, * it's the other way about — repul- 
sion rather than attraction. I'm dark, and he's fair. I'm a head 
taller than he is, and fully four stone heavier. 1 like a man to 
look up to — not a manikin, to examine through a microscope* 
He is taciturn, and I am not. Really, we have nothing in 

The General pondered and pish'd. Then — 

'Well, well, my dear, one cannot compel inclination (even 
kissing goes by favour, you do or do not know) ; but, pardon 
me, you two young people have something in common [I wish 
you had everything, he murmured to himself] : you are both 
fond of horses and hunting, and you are both exactly twenty-five 
years old. However, go with him to the meet, at any rate. 
After that, you'll be sure to ride away from him. You know 
next to nothing about the delightful intricacies of hound-work, of 
venery, in general, of stag-hunting, in particular ; but you do 
know the Moor ; thanks to walking it, riding it, and fishing it, 
far and wide, throughout several Augusts past. You do know. 
the Moor, and he doesn't ; and, despite giving him four stone, 
and notwithstanding that he is said to go well. "up-country," 
you certainly ride in these parts, you do.' 

At the same time, in another room in the same hotel, Jack 
Dorstone was also ' teaing.' 

He had no on^ to converse with — indeed, he was not much 
given to conversation ; so, perforce, he communed with himself. 
His thoughts ran: — He supposed he must proceed to the 
meet the next morning with * that great girl * ; that he hated 
big women, dark women, chattering women ; that the General 
was a pal of his father's and ' a good sort,' and that he must be 
civil to * the Amazon.' 

In the morning they were driven together, per motor, to Yard 
Down, a distant but most popular fixture — having sent on their 
hunters, and having given instructions for second horses to be at 
or about Brendon Two Gates soon after noon, according to the 
artful and useful custom of the vftW-studded, when a cross-forest 
run is on the cards. 

The harbourer reported to the Master (the report leaking, as 
usual), a heavy stag in the Bray coverts ; and, foolishly, both 
Kitty and Jack, severally and separately, decided to go down 
into the woodlands and watch the tufting. 

Sure enough, there was a warrantable deer well harboured in 
Molland Wood (which must not be confounded with the covert 

172 A Wai-rantable Deer. 

of the same name lying some ten miles to the south-eastward, 
under Cuzzicombe Moor, near Twitchen, near North Molton). 

The consequence was that the stag, breaking quickly towards 
the eminence called Showlesborough Castle, and the pack being 
pretty promptly laid on, they both got badly ' left' 

When they had ascended to and crossed Whitefield Down 
and got back to the inn — where the hundreds of horsemen and 
horsewomen had assembled not so long before — there was no 
one about save a few drivers, grooms, and foot-people. 

* Gone away, right up oaver ! Clean across the vorest, I'll 
war*nd ! A turr'ble gurt stag, zure 'nuff, with brow, bay, and 
tray and two 'pon tap, on wan zide, and dree *pon t'other, I tell 
'ee !' cried an excited farmer, mounting a small, shaggy pony, 
and preparing to follow the chase — by his own route. 

* As the young couple started to trot up the hill, a burly stud- 
groom, who had come to see * his ' horses start in what might 
prove to be the run of the season, eyed Jack Dorstone critically 
and approvingly, and ejaculated to one of his satellites : * A 
sweet leg for a boot (wish I had it !) — a proper little horseman, 
and mounted too, begad. Like enough he'll give the lady 
(beefy, if I may say So) the go-by, ere long, if so be he'm that 
way inclined.* 

They rode on silently. He never wasted words ; she cared 
not to talk, especially to him. 

Presently, coming upon fairly good going, they spurted into a 
gallop. Catching up the elongated tail of a hunt already strag- 
gling, they learned that hounds, running hard and well, had 
flashed away towards Span Head or Five Barrows. Soon after 
this they were really riding. Kitty intended leaving her com- 
panion, but as weight will tell and blood will tell, little Jack, on 
a thoroughbred, soon forged ahead. 

The summer had been wet ; the moor rode very deep. Kitty 
would not see her dearest foe * stogged.' So, after they had been 
riding hard for some time, she cried : * Hold hard, Mr. Dorstone, 
hold hard! 'Ware bog!' 

* No bogs on Exmoor,' replied Jack. 

* Technically, there are not,' she answered ; * no bogs, only 
"wet places" ; but some of those wet places are as wide as a church 
door — or, indeed, as a parish, and as deep as a steeple ; so ' 

Jack slackened speed slightly, dropped back to his pilot (so 
to speak), and, catching a view of a long line of horses streaming 
over an elevated plateau, somewhat to the left and far away, 

A Warrantable Deer. 1 73 

exclaimed, * There they are ! that's our line ! Come on, Miss 
Caisson !* 

The girl smiled, shook her dark head, and replied : * Oh, no ! 
A stern chase is a long chase. There are gullies, and goyals, 
and coombes, and wet places, and ups-and-downs, and distance 
to be reckoned with. Oh, no ! we must keep to the right, make 
for Brendon Two Gates, catch our second horses, and nick in.' 

* Not riding to hounds ?' said laconic Jack. 

* Perhaps not/ she replied, according to notions of the Shires 
and the Midlands; but it's often the only way after hounds 
across Exmoor, especially when you get left for a start.* 

So, together, they rode hard, for awhile; she piloting him 
under a familiar hedge and a well-known wall, across previously- 
tracked tracks, and over some more or less excellent galloping 
ground ; avoiding the slimy horrors of the Chains and the 
morasses of Black Pits ; until, at last, they came nearly to 
Brendon Two Gates, and met their smart second-horseman 
approaching them. 

Then, Jack said : "Pon my word. Miss Caisson, you're very 
good, and efficient ; really I ' 

' Don't mention it, Mr. Dorstone. I would do the same for 
any sportsman, or, for the matter of that, for almost any sports- 

* Thanks, all the same. Now, allow me to. return the compli- 
nnent. I'm — er — somewhat smaller and lighter than you. My 
second horse is up to several stone more than yours. Let me 
have the saddles shifted.' 

Promptly, he gave orders accordingly, and before the 
astonished girl had time to protest, he had neatly handed her up 
on to his own mount : after which he swung himself upon hers. 

First horses, done to a turn, were left with careful, considerate 
guardians. On fresh horses (which refresh and renew riders, 
even jaded, which these were not), quickly they were galloping 
again. They were somewhat more amiably disposed towards 
each other by this time, after mutual favours conferred and 

* Which way ? Where are hounds ^ What is your plan ot 
compaign, Miss Caisson ? * 

* Well, you see,' she replied, * we know deer and hounds, and 
the first flight, and the main body of the tail, too, are somewhat 
to our left, and, probably, to our front ; and that is about all we 
know, or pretty fairly surmise. The stag tnay have trended 

1 74 A Warrantable Deer. 

more and more left-handed, may have gone to sea at Water- 
mouth, Glenthorne, or Lynmouth ; but I hope and think that we 
are traversing the chord of an arc, and shall hit the chase some- 
where between here and Porlock.* 

They rode very hard. By the exchange, the big blood horse, 
under the large girl, and the little, well-bred mare, under the 
little man, had been handicapf>ed to a nicety. Pounds will bring 
Pegasus (or Eclipse) and a pony together. 

Straight down into this coombe and the other ; steadily up 
the opposing sides thereof; thudding over turf; scudding across 
flats ; swishing through rough and wiry herbage and cotton- 
grass ; pounding the miry softness of moss-hags, turf-pits, and 
" wet places " ; hardening their hearts over grips, rhenes, and 
greenery- grown horse-and-man-traps : so they speeded onwards, 
and upwards and downwards, past Alderman's Barrow and 
Black Barrow. 

At last, they espied the chase, simultaneously. 

* Horses and red coats ! ' cried Kitty. 

* Hounds ! * said Jack. 

The elongated hunt, swinging to the right, and the two 
nickers-in, trending to the left, brought about that conjunction 
which the fair pilot had calculated upon. 

They learned, broadly, that the line had conducted over the 
Mole's Chamber, Five Barrows, Oare Oak (as if for Countisbury) 
— right-handed slant to Badgeworthy Wood and Badgeworthy 
Water (where the quarry soiled) — right again towards Culbone 
and the * Short Plantations,' backing over Lucott Hill, and 

'Here we are!' cried a happy, flushed maiden, who had 
ridden the chase, more or less, to her acquaintance, Kitty 
Caisson. * Here we are ! such a gallop ! and still going strong ! ' 

Continuing, the rosy-faced girling stated that somewhere 
under Badgeworthy Wood, or in the so-called Doone Valley, a 
longish check had, luckily, given horses and riders a welcome 
breathing-space, but for which (she declared), * we should not be 
here now.' 

After this, it was quite plain sailing for our hero and heroine, 
upon comparatively fresh horses. 

Down the Horner Valley, ringing with the glorious notes of 
horn, hound, and halloa. * Tally-ho ! hark for'ard — for'ard, 
for'ard, forward ! ' 

It was the beginning of the end. The stag having soiled 
several times en route, soiled again. Hounds caught a view, and 

A Warrantable Deer. 175 

clamoured tumultuously and vengefully for blood. The quarry 
was set up to bay, was taken, was killed, and duly treated accord- 
ing to time-honoured custom. The trophies were removed — 
head, skin, and slots. The venison was reserved, including 
certain interior portions. The hounds were blooded. The mort 
was sounded, and the valley reverberated with the chant of the 
loud, triumphant * Whoo-whoop ! * 

It had been, it was stated by the principal actors, a noble run 
right across the Forest. Time, eighty-five minutes. Nothing like 
record ; but the deer had circuited considerably, and so increased 
the distance, the * point' Kitty and Jack, on a little eminence 
under Luckham Allers, did not go down to participate in the 
final ceremony, hard by Homer Mill. 

Later, as the remnant of a huge field (some score of stal- 
warts, including the officials and six ladies, and excluding the 
survivors of the Porlock, M inehead, and Dunster brigades) were 
jogging over Lucott Hill, towards Exford,the huntsman handed 
to Miss Caisson a slot which, after bestowing the usual * com- 
pliment,* she slipped into the pocket of her coat. 

Later still, going not down into Exford with hounds, but 
sinking by Stone to Withypool, the two paced slowly home- 
wards towards Dulverton. 

They proceeded together in a mood which was an admixture 
of triumph, of gratification, of enjoyment, of cordiality, of 
camaraderie. The last-mentioned ripened into something con- 
siderably warmer before they reached Marsh Bridge and the 
environs of Dulverton. Ere they dismounted in the stableyard 
of ' The Fortescue,' they had actually become engaged. 

Kitty presented herself before the General, proudly display- 
ing her slot. 

* Hey, what, what } ' cried the General ; * let me examine that 
slot, my love.* 

Turning over in his hand the slot, at which he barely glanced, 
the General proceeded to explain to his daughter the position, 
which he read like an open book. 

' Ha ! ' he cried ; • here we have the slot of a four-year-old, 
galloping male dear (a " staggart," my love). That check in the 
Doone Valley, of which your vivacious girl-friend spoke, accounts 
for it. The hunted stag ran to herd — pushed up a youthful 
substitute — and there you are. A heavy old stag, such as was har- 
boured in the Bray Valley, would not, could not, have given such 
a run in August — could not have stood such a pace so long.* 

1 76 The Battle of Farnborough. 

* But, daddy/ said the girl, * IVe something else to tell you. 
Tve — IVe got over my dislike to Jack — to Mr. Dorstone — I — 
we " 


* I showed him the way, for a time, after he had really shown 
me the way. Then I kept him out of bogs — that is, " wet places.** 
Then he gave me his second horse, most generously, and we rode 
together. And then we came home, most pleasantly, and ' 

Here the General became interested, and exhibited his 
interest plainly — rubbing his hands and chuckling. 

* Where is the young rascal ? ' he demanded. 

* Oh, Jack — er — Mr. Dorstone — kindly insisted upon seeing 
the gees stabled and done up. He'll be here presently.* 

* Ha ! will he ? What for, may I ask ? ' (beaming). 

* Well, you see, daddy darling, we've somehow become 
engaged, between Withy pool and Dulverton ; and, father, he's 
such a dear fellow — he is, indeed ! ' 

* H'm ! * ejaculated the General ; 'your slot is not the slot of 
a warrantable stag. Your red deer was not a warrantable deer, 
my dearest dear, but Jack is.' 

Here the old sportsman slapped his thigh, and continued — 

* Jack Dorstone being the only child and heir of my old 
comrade and friend. Sir Camaby Dorstone, with a house in 
town, a moor and forest in the Highlands of Scotland, an ancient 
seat (with devilish good shooting, begad !) in Wales, a villa on 
the Riviera, and a castle in Spain (material, not metaphorical) — 
to say nothing of being, to my certain knowledge, on the most 
friendly terms with several eminent firms of bankers— is, as you 
say, " a dear fellow " indeed. He is a warrantable dear.' 



By Finch Mason. 

N the early part of i860, when the forthcoming fight 
for the Belt between Tom Sayers and John Carmd 
Heenan, familiarly known as the Benicia Boy, 
formed the one topic of conversation amongst all 
classes of the community, high and low, rich and poor alike, 
there was probably no single individual you could name as 

The Battle of Famboraugh. 1 77 

taking a more absorbing interest in the whole affair than Toby, 
the thirteen . year - old son and heir of the Reverend John 
Philpot, rector of Mavesyn - on - the - Marsh, Hardwareshire. 
Here be it remarked that, for many generations past, never 
was a Philpot yet, in the male line — if he were a good fellow, 
that is — ^who didn't go through life with the nickname of * Toby ' 
tacked on to him. In this instance, however, the name was 
actually given by his godfkthers and godmother in his baptism 
to the youthful hero of my story, and it came about in this wise. 
A discussion, which seemed likely to prove interminable, 
having arisen between the parent birds as to what to call the 
diminutive despot, who was at that moment ruling the' entire 
household with a rod of iron, the rector, in desperation, hit upon 
the following brilliant idea. * Madge,* said he, * between us, we 
have now drawn every covert we can think of, so to speak, and 
each one blank ' (needless to say he was a fine specimen of the 
sporting parson, was the rector), * and so far as I can see there 
is only one recourse left to us. I propose to christen this pro- 
mising young hound of ours " Toby ;" you suggest Nathaniel — 
though I know you don't like it in your heart of hearts— after 
that old screw of an uncle of yours. (They'll call him " Winkle," 
as sure as a gun, when in process of time he goes to Eton.) So 
what do you say to tossing up? — heads for Toby, tails for 
Nathaniel, eh ? ' 

* Well, perhaps it will be the best way,' replied Mrs. Philpot, 
with a sigh of resignation. 

'Good,' exclaimed her husband, much relieved, producing 
a florin from his waistcoat pocket as he spoke. * I toss ; you 
cry ! Now then, what is it ? ' he asked, as spinning the coin into 
the air, he deftly caught it on the back of his hand. ' Sudden 
death, mind,' he added, laughingly. 

* Tails,' guessed Mrs. Philpot, after a momentary hesitation. 

* Wrong for once, my dear, it's heads,' chuckled the rector, as 
he restored the florin to his pocket with an air of satisfaction. 
And that was how the great question of Toby or not Toby came 
to be answered. 

We will pass over the nursery days of the only son of the 
house, contenting ourselves in saying that at the period 
we are writing about, when he would be half-way between twelve 
and thirteen years old, go where you would there was not a 
more sporting boy to be found in England than Master Toby. 
With such a mentor always to hand as * Old ' Toby, as they now 

1 78 The Battle of Famborough. 

called the rector, it would have been odd, indeed, if he had not 
' shaped well ' as the trainers say. 

It was told of him how, on one occasion, when of very tender 
years, being in a railway carriage with his father and the Bishop 
of the diocese, the latter, fraternising with Toby, asked him in a 
patronising way whether he played cricket, and so on, and so on, 
a proceeding which resulted in Toby returning the compliment 
with a tender inquiry as to what his lordship could do in his 
early boyhood. According to his own account, there was 
nothing the Bishop could not do at that halcyon period of his 
existence : cricket, football, shooting, and hunting, he was good 
at them all. 

Toby, evidently taken aback, was silent for a moment or 
two, apparently in deep thought. Then, suddenly brightening 
up, he once more tackled the Bishop. 

* Ah,' said he, with an incredulous-cum-mischievous look up 
into his lordship's face, * that's all very fine, but could you 
Finish?* working his small arms as he spoke, like a jockey 
riding a race, by way of illustration. 

This was indeed a * poser,' so much so that the poor Bishop 
had to turn to Toby senior for an explanation. In what sort of 
spirit he received the same, history does not state. But to 
return to our story. As we have already stated, at the period 
we write about, everybody seemed to have gone mad upon one 
subject, viz., the forthcoming fight for the championship. Where- 
ever you went, portraits of Tom Sayers and his gigantic 
opponent stared one in the face, whilst, as for the nobld art of 
self-defence, never had it received such a boom before in the 
memory of man. Who does not remember John Leech's 
sketch in Punch of the interior of a nursery : a fond mamma 
looking on at a * set to ' with the gloves between her two small 
boys, whilst in the background a trim maid - servant is 
announcing * Professor Mauley, ma'am ! ' and another of an 
exhausted pugilist reclining in an armchair, being fanned the 
while by sundry pretty girls ? 

The Reverend Toby, having been an adept with the mittens 
in his salad days, was naturally much interested in the whole 
affair ; so much so, indeed, that we verily believe that but for 
the gout, which generally bothered him at this time of year, he 
would have figured among the passengers in the special which 
conveyed the men and their friends to Famborough that eventful 
morning. As it was, he contented himself with reading all 

The Battle of Famborough. 179 

about it in the veracious columns of Belts Life in London, which 
paper, needless to say, he religiously took in, and raking up 
memories of the past for the benefit of his hopeful son, who 
listened open-mouthed to his parent's graphic account of the 
celebrated battle in the Bicester County between Johnny Broome 
and Jack Hannan, which, amongst other fistic encounters, he 
had witnessed in the good old Christ Church days. 

To add to the fun, was not Charlie Bang, a dashing young^ 
cornet in the Bays, engaged to Toby*s sister Molly, and just 
then on a visit to his mother at the Old Manor House close by, 
actually going to the fight ? Toby thought it very hard line?^ 
not to say unkind, that his brother-in-law in futuro didn't see 
his way to taking him with him, notwithstanding that he had 
kindly offered to run away from school for the purpose, should 
the event happen to take place during the half. 

It would have been so easy too, as it turned out, for 
curiously enough, Toby not only returned to his scholastic 
duties on the very same day on which the fight took place, but 
actually passed in the train the very spot where it took place ; 
but all he could do he did, which was to extract a promise from 
his parent before starting, that he would send him an account 
of the battle the following day, enclosed in a letter, all news- 
papers being strictly tabooed by old Wobbles, as the Reverend 
James Warbler, M.A., was irreverently styled by his pupils. 

Two days afterwards the all-important missive arrived, 
which on being opened by its anxious recipient in a remote 
comer of the playground, was found, to his great joy, to contain 
a full account of the fight as it appeared in the columns of that 
highly respectable paper, the Times^ every syllable of which,, 
couched in Homeric language, Toby read with consuming 
interest, you may be sure. Fully alive to the fact that if his 
acquisition became public property he would be allowed no- 
peace until it had been read by every individual boy in the 
school, Toby wisely kept the secret to himself until bedtime. 

Great was the excitement amongst the fifteen occupants of 
his dormitory when Toby showed them his prize, and it was a 
scene worthy the pencil of Sir David Wilkie to behold him 
reading it afterwards, with all the dramatic force he was capable 
of, to the nightgowned young friends assembled round his bed. 

* Then in return,' read Toby, * came a blow delivered with the 
rapidity of lightning on Heenan's ribs, which resounded through 
the ring as if a box had been broken in ' 

1 80 The Battle of Farnborough. 

'Stop!* cried 'Fatty* Dixon, the Captain of the room. 
* Before you go any further I want to see if this is an 
exaggeration or not Poynder/ said he, in a voice of command, 
to a tall, scraggy youth, * take off your nightgown and represent 
the Benicia Boy for a moment. 

* What for ? Why, to be punched in the ribs by Tom Sayers, 
-of course, and if you don't resound through the room like a box 
being broken in, FU put some more soap down your mouth the 
very next time you snore. — Oh-h-h-h ! ' yelled the champion 
of England a second later, wringing his hand in great bodily 

The artful Poynder had suddenly moved out of the way, 
with the result that the lightning-like blow intended for his ribs 
alighted instead, with full force, on the wooden bed-post behind 


« « « « « 

' Now then, what's this noise about, you boys, when you 
all ought to be in bed?* exclaimed the well-known voice of the 
Reverend James Warbler, M.A., who with slippered feet had 
entered the dormitory unheard and unobserved, causing a 
general scamper to the different beds. * What is that you have 
in your hand, Philpot ? Give it me this moment, I insist, sir ! 
Ha ! what is this ? What — what — what ? An account of 
that ruffianly affair which took place but a short distance from 
here two days ago ! Disgraceful ! We will go into this matter 
in detail to-morrow morning at eleven o'clock school, Philpot. 
In the meanwhile, to your beds, all of you, and emerge from 
them again if you dare ! ' 

* Aren't we to get up in the morning, sir ? ' suggested a voice 
with a laugh in it, from a distant bed. 

' That was Jessop's voice, I know I Write yourself down 
"Inepti" on the slate, sir, the very moment you enter the 
schoolroom to-morrow morning,' roared the pedagogue in a 
rage ; * and if,' he added, ' there are any other marks against 
your name, I shall cane you on the spot. And, remember, if 
any more noise emanates from this room to-night, every boy 
in it shall suffer corporeally to-morrow. Dixon, as captain of 
the dormitory, I shall look to you to see to this.' 

♦ • ♦ « ♦ 

' Come out ! ' roared the Reverend James Warbler, M.A., 
addressing his sixty odd scholars en bloc from his throne at the 
end of the big schoolroom at eleven o'clock school the following 

The Battle of Farnbo rough. 1 8 1 

morning, who, in reply, stood up in their places at the mandate 
according to custom. 

* Philpot, come forward ! — Philpot,* went on the head 
master, * last night I interrupted you in the very act of reading 
to your schoolfellows an account of a fistic encounter between two 
ruffians, named respectively Thomas Sayers and John Heenan of 
Benicia (where Benicia is I don't precisely know, for though I 
have searched diligently I cannot find it in any map). As a 
result of your public reading, one of your audience — I allude to 
Dixon — is completely disabled, and is at this moment in bed, 
waiting for the opinion of Doctor Balsam. It may be that he 
will lose his right hand. It is impossible to pronounce an 
opinion as yet : we can only hope for the best. For thus 
introducing surreptitiously this pernicious literature at my school, 
a school intended — mark, please, all of you, my emphasis on 
the word — I repeat, intended for the sons of gentlemen^ I had 
quite made up my mind, Philpot, to make an example of you 
this morning by administering such a caning as would not only 
deter you, but your companions, from ever offending in like 
manner in the future. Quite by chance, however, on examining 
the envelope, which, together with its disgraceful contents, I 
confiscated last night, I found a letter which I had previously 
overlooked. Feeling justified under the circumstances in so 
doing, I mastered its contents, with the result that my mind has 
undergone a change as to the course I intended to pursue 
towards you. Here is your letter, Philpot, and when you reply to 
the writer, I hope you will explain to HER,' wound up the head- 
master, * how it was it came into " Old Wobble's " possession. 
Boys, you can return to your places.' 

Thus ran the letter : — 

' The Rectory. 

* Dear Old Toby, — I enclose you the Times account of the Great 
Battle of Farnboro', as papa calls it. What a " merry mill," wasn't it ? 
Charlie was there, and enjoyed it immsnseiy, I should like to see Tom 
Sayers, shouldn't you ? 

'Hoping "Old Wobbles" won't confiscate contents, with love— 
your affectionate sister, * Molly.* 

( i82 ) 

By Miss M. V. Wynter. 

* I am struck with admiration at the mysteries of Nature, among which 
not the least wonderful seems the feminine desire to excel.' 

Whyte Melville. 

)OR many years a tug-of-war has been waged between 
the sexes, the bone of contention being that oft- 
discussed subject as to whether ladies should or 
should not be allowed to take their part in the 
point-to-point races which have become, in the majority of 
hunts, the almost universal finish to the season's sport. * Women 
get up and ride races — ridiculous, suicidal ; why, of conrsCy they 
will all ** ride jealous," foul, and probably jump on each other 
when down, and cry their eyes out if they don't all win. Be- 
sides, think of our wives and daughters being a subject for the 
ridicule or the cheers of every Tom, Dick, or Harry who chooses 
to lay half-a-crown on the race.' * But,' argues Diana, * why 
should women who have been accustomed all their lives to the 
competition and the etiquette of the hunting-field either foul or 
jump on each other because the field of action happens to be 
between the flags ? and, as for the publicity of riding in a point- 
to-point, surely this is no greater than playing in a tennis 
tournament, hockey match, or bicycling in gymkhanas. ' 

The ladies — as, to do them justice, they usually do — have 
carried the day, and the year 1905 witnessed the first recognised 
point-to-point race for ladies. So successfully was this innovation 
received both by the competitors themselves and also by enthu- 
siastic spectators, that the end of last hunting season saw similar 
races forming a part of the programme in one or two well- 
known Irish hunts, and also a repetition of the race at the Bath 
and County Harriers' Meeting. Although the races themselves 
are by this time ancient history, we may perhaps be forgiven 
for dwelling upon one or two points connected with thetiir 
notably the abolishment of the rule in the Bath and County 
Harriers* Meeting * that every lady must ride her own horse/ 
and also the novel sight which occurred in the 'Subscribers'^ 
Race ' of a lady pluckily going forth on her own horse to com- 
pete against the sterner sex. 

With regard to the rule that ladies should not be restricted 

Should Ladies ride Races ? 183 

to riding their own horses, we are at one with the committee, as 
it certainly seems hard that so many keen but impecunious 
sportswomen should be barred from taking part in the race 
simply because they do not happen to possess a horse good 
enough to enter. The objection to ladies being open to accept 
mounts was, we believe, based upon the score of danger ; but 
surely any woman who was keen enough to enjoy riding a 
strange horse over a strange country would in all * humane pro- 
bability,* as Jorrocks would say, be a sufficiently good-enough 
horsewoman to render this objection unnecessary. 

The second point — namely, whether ladies should be allowed 
to compete with men — ^we should answer decidedly in the nega- 
tive. Without wishing to cast any aspersions on either the 
courage or horsemanship of the fair sex, we think that they 
would be wiser to rest content with what they have already 
accomplished. If they wish to race, let them expend their 
energies on popularising and improving ladies* races for ladies^ 
but let them refrain, we implore, from invading the masculine 
department. We all know — 

* That the game was never yet worth a rap 
For a rational man to play. 
Into which no accident, no mishap. 
Could possibly find its way,' 

and that, although riding in point-to-points is not the reckless 
* take your life in your hand and make your last will and testa- 
ment' sort of affair that son^e people seem to assume, yet a 
certain percentage of falls must be reckoned upon by those who 
ride in them with any frequency, a deduction which brings us to 
the first reason why ladies should not ride against men. Those 
who have watched a * ladies' race ' must have been struck by the 
difference between it and a man's in speed, the pace in the 
former being not much faster than a quick hunting run. Now 
we know it is * the pace which kills,' and it is the pace which 
we think constitutes the gravest danger for a lady riding 
amongst men. Not only does a blown horse fall more heavily, 
and is more apt to roll back on his rider, but in the excitement 
of a lot of horses and men straining every nerve to be first, with 
the best will in the world, it is very hard to avoid a certain 
amount of jostling. In the competition of a race there is no 
time to remember //ar^ aux dames^ yet in the event of a woman 
falling, with no one at hand to help her, does it not put a some- 
what severe strain on the manners of her fellow-competitors ? 

1 84 Should Ladies ride Races ? 

Common chivalry urges them to stay and inquire if she is 
hurt, common sense assures them they will inevitably be last if 
they do so* 

No; there are some few pastimes which even the most 
ardent sportswomen will do well to leave alone, and polo and 
race-riding against men must, we think, be included in this 

With regard to the future of * Ladies' Races,' much of their 
success or failure will depend upon the way in which they are 
managed for the next few years. As a draw to the general 
public, the innovation is decidedly a popular one, the novelty of 
the affair appealing to a large section of race-goers, much in the 
same way that a juvenile prodigy will frequently command a 
larger audience than a mature artist. With the majority of 
the hunting and racing world, however, the prejudice against 
ladies' races is still so strong that it will take more than two or 
three isolated affairs to change the current of public opinion and 
make these events into regular institutions. * Danger ' is the 
keynote upon which most of the objections raised are based, 
and those who are in favour of and connected with the furthering 
of ladies' races will do well to remember this. * Danger is every- 
where, even in an omnibus,' as Mr. Jorrocks truly remarked ; 
but even in race- riding the risks of falling would be reduced to 
a minimum if the fair competitors would remember that no woman 
has a right to endanger other people's necks, even if she values 
her own but lightly, by riding in a race a horse which she either 
cannot properly hold, or one that runs out frequently and badly 
at his fences. A woman, handicapped as she is with but one 
leg free to use, is practically powerless to keep a refusing horse 
straight at his fences, and with seven or eight riders all jumping 
more or less in a bunch, a horse of this class is not only an 
unmitigated nuisance, but a source of real danger. The two 
essentials, we think, for would-be competitors to remember are 
that their horses should be safe jumpers, and the rider possessed 
of a cool head. Granted these conditions, we see no reason why 
the institution which has commenced so auspiciously should not 
develop into a regular and very pleasant addition to the majority 
of hunt programmes. 

( i85 ) 


^OCAL tragedies were taking place daily in ourother* 
wise quiet district, chickens disappearing as if by 
magic, tragedies that touched the heart and the 
pocket of a poultry- raising community whose sun 
rose and set over a hen-coop. Beautiful broods of buff 
Orpingtons and black Minorcas were here to-day and gone to- 
morrow, removed by some unseen agency at all hours of the 
day or night. Sometimes the dead body of a chicken was founds 
but very often there was not a feather of evidence to give the 
culprit away. It was all more mysterious than the lifting of the 
Ascot Cup, and everybody came under the ban of suspicion, 
from the domestic cat to the next-door neighbour. Owing to 
such a deplorable state of things the public peace of mind was 
shipwrecked, for nobody's character was safe until the mystery 
was discovered. 

The police, after failing to bring the matter home to a couple 
of suspects — local bipeds — suggested foxes. The sporting frater- 
nity were, however, highly indignant, and replied * rats.* The 
gamekeeper, after making a thorough investigation and post- 
mortem of a victim, got very near the mark by offering the 
suggestion that somebody's ferret had got loose. It was quite 
evident that the thief was a connoisseur of first-class poultry^ 
declining all but the best, and no amount of traps or watching 
succeeded io bringing him to book. 

* Murder will out,' and the day of reckoning was bound to 
come sooner or later ; this particular case, to cut a long story 
short, ending in an organized hunt, which for point and incident 
put the whole community into good tune again. Expert opinion 
at last decided that the common enemy was none other than a 
stoat or a weasel, who has the credit of never being caught 
asleep. A little snake-like animal full of cunning, able to creep 
through a chink not much bigger than a keyhole, savage in 
attack, slaying rats twice his own size and weight. Stories are 
told of weasels hunting in packs after a rabbit, which is more or 
less true, the facts of the case being that a family of young 
weasels follow their parents when in chase. Dependent on 

1 86 Pop goes the Weasel, 

support until they are nearly full grown, the young of the weasel 
take a great deal of providing for : a doe on the hunt for food 
stops at nothing to replenish the larder. When together weasels 
make a chittering noise .like ferrets, and this fact has been 
magnified into a full chorus, emulating a pack of hounds giving 
tongue. In fact, if one believed all the stories in circulation, it 
would not be safe to be out of doors after dark in weasel 

But what is one man's meat is another man's poison, and 
when Captain Flitaway, famous as a breeder of pocket beagles, 
heard of the tragedies taking place, he begged to be allowed to 
bring his well-known stoat-hunting pack and have a hunt. 
Stoats and weasels are very closely allied, though the larger of 
the two, which is the stoat, commonly called a club-tail, owing'to 
the greater length and bushy character of his tail, is popularly 
talked about as the weasel. The little pack had been organized 
by their owner in a waste common district to hunt the stoat, 
which leaves a capital scent behind him, is a good traveller, and 
as cunning as they make them. The pack had a good following 
of foot-people, commencing to hunt in the early spring, until 
stopped by the luxurious growth of summer. 

A general invitation was issued to a meet of hounds at the 
Rectory, the throw-off being arranged from the nearest poultry 
yard. With so many having a vested interest in the enterprise, 
the gathering was indeed a goodly one, increased by many who 
came out of curiosity to see how the stoat would play his part. 
It was an occasion when the hen-wives of the district made 
general holiday, and the good Rector, who was himself a poultry- 
man, had a solid breakfast set out, which put the right com- 
plexion on the proceedings, giving it a dignity which it would 
not otherwise have possessed. 

A well-appointed motor now appeared, the two occupants 
of which were disguised by stormproof garments and goggles. 
Their identity, however, was disclosed by a silver-toned chorus, 
which came from a box-like compartment at the rear of the 
motor. The master of the beagle pack and his whippet - in 
quickly threw aside their travelling disguise, and stood revealed, 
two feather-weight men of medium height, quick as thought 
in all their movements. Their uniform had a workmanlike 
appearance, being drab-green in colour with a distinguishing 
primrose-yellow collar. The cap was of cloth with a stoat-mask 
set over the peak, and both carried silver whistles, a short dog- 

Pop goes the WeaseL 187 

whip, and a serviceable pole, suggestive of the otter chase. A 
ferret-bag with various contrivances in the way of bolting 
apparatus, besides an adjustable pick and spade, were strapped 
on to a youth engaged for the occasion out of the village. 

The master of the pack looked intended by nature to cox a 
rowing eight, and what he lacked in stature, like the fox-terrier, 
he gained in artifice. His whipper-in, a red-headed youth, long 
in the legs and short in the back, was so quick in his movements 
that he seemed able to see in two directions at the same time, 
and had a marvellous knack of being in the right place at the 
right moment. Altogether it was a combination which might 
have inspired the weasel tribe, however cunning, with a pro- 
portionate amount of respect. 

The musical-box arrangement at the back of the motor was 
the centre of attraction. It was a miniature hound -van, designed 
to hold about ten couple of midgets. As soon as the tailboard 
was let down, making a ladder to the ground, it was as if a swarm 
of gnats were suddenly let loose, all buzzing at once with ear- 
piercing notes. It was perfectly marvellous to see such small 
forms possessed of so much devil and noise, for the eight-and-a- 
half couple were ready to worry their own shadow in their eager- 
ness to snuff the cool morning air, and enjoy the full use of their 
limbs. Their height ranged from eight-and-a-half to ten inches, 
and yet they displayed in a remarkable degree the ch.^racter 
and symmetry of full-sized foxhounds, wearing the same 
distinguishing uniform of black, white, and tan. 

A chorus of applause broke from the ladies of the party at 
the sight. * Oh, you dears ! ' * What sweet pretty faces ! ' * How 
I should like to pet them ! ' But the next moment it was pan- 
demonium let loose, for one of the beagles having found a dead 
blackbird, a general meUe resulted, the little demons breaking 
him up with a savage ferocity that fairly astonished the spec- 
tators. When employed in hunting rabbits, these beagles can 
generally crack the stoutest bunny up after a burst of ten or 
fifteen minutes, and when allowed to tear and eat him, nothing 
but the skull and big bones of the leg remain to give evidence 
that he ever had an existence. 

After having worked off their exuberance of spirits, the 
pack were called to order with much rating, and marshalled 
around their huntsman on the grass for general admiration and 
inspection. When vifewed collectively the critics pronounced 
them miniature hounds, grafted on to the toy or fox-terrier, the 

1 88 Pop goes the WeaseL 

choicest specimens of the pack possessing excellent feet and l^s. 
The long pendulous ears and expressive faces gave the little 
beagles a very picturesque appearance. Most skilful kennel 
management is necessary for such a highly-strung little pack, 
rice pudding and chicken broth being their staple of diet The 
wonder of the pack was Rascal, a four-season hunter on straight 
legs, measuring nine inches at the shoulder and weighing five 
pounds. This diminutive specimen was a trifle light in his back 
ribs, but he carried his stern with all the assurance of a twenty- 
four-inch foxhound. Lucy was a very taking, stuffy little lemon- 
and-white bitch, on short legs. Dearest, a winner on the show 
bench, had round feet like a cat. and her head was excellent in 
character. Trifle could lead them all on a good scent, and 
Leapfrog, though he was very twisted on the leg, was absolutely 
reliable on the line of a stoat. Baby and Little-*un threw their 
tongue on every possible occasion. Loveknot, the father of half 
the kennel, was getting portly in appearance, with at least a 
couple of chins, but his chocolate-and-white-coloured jacket in 
its youth had been seen top of many a distinguished showyard 
entry. Sparkle, Gadfly, Whynot, Tattle, and Tiny were a 
promising young entry, whose whole attention had been confined 
to stoat-hunting. It was quite evident that the master had cap- 
tured the hearts of his fairy-like pack, and with him they were 
ready to hunt the roughest place. Leapfrog, Lucy, Dearest, and 
Trifle leading the pack. 

For the throw-off" it was decided to go up-wind to the far end 
of the village, and start in an outlying stackyard where some 
chickens had lately fallen victims. By so doing it was hoped to 
pick up the trail of a stoat who was pretty sure to have come in 
from the adjoining open country, which presented a barren out- 
look, with fields surrounded by loosely-built stone walls. The 
following of the hunt, which numbered about fifty persons, were 
duly marshalled by one of the otter-hunting fraternity, because 
success depended upon the pack having room to work. 

The stackyard had been kept quiet in anticipation of a visit 
from the hunt, and the young poultry were penned up for the 
occasion, for in the exuberance of starting there was a certain 
amount of fear that the little hounds might run riot to feather. 
Drawing carefully round the premises — there being no stacks in 
the yard, with the exception of a little loose straw, which is 
seldom used by vermin — a very careful investigation was made. 
For some time the mainstay of the hunt, old Leapfrog, con- 

Pop goes the WeaseL 1 89 

tented himself with a vast amount of snuffling round the pre- 
mises, moving at a slow and solemn pace, whilst the others were 
all activity, having to be warned to ' have a care,' as two of them 
set up the stackyard cat, who spat and swore horribly at the 
.intruders. Several well-used rat-runs were in evidence, but 
Leapfrog had nothing to say to them, and some of the field — as 
is always the case — began to get rather sceptical and irreverent 
in their remarks. The master and his whipper-in were the pre- 
sentment of patience — handling hounds very tenderly, leaving 
them to investigate every particle of evidence which appeared to 
afford interest. At last patience was rewarded, for Leapfrog's 
stern lashed the air in promising style, and Lucy quickened her 
pace, snuffling violently as they made their way to the cart-shed, 
where both started to scratch the ground violently. The rest 
swarmed to them like bees, and soon buzzed into a soul-stirring 
chorus. This was the signal for a general rush of the following, 
who were of opinion that it was quite time something had hap- 
pened. The master, however, begged them to stand back and 
not come too near, for foiling the line might spoil the chances of 
sport for the rest of the day. By the help of the poles, which 
had adjustable spuds fixed, the place was scratched out, and 
the dead bodies of three recently-killed chickens — nearly half- 
grown birds — were brought to light. 

The field expected to see the stoat accounted for there and 
then ; not so the master, who opinioned that he was a mile or 
more away, and his keen instincts would soon tell him that he 
was the object of a hunt. The little pack were at once full of 
animation, and, casting themselves hither and hither, they hit off 
<lown the wall side, going away in tuneful chorus. It was a good 
start, and the further they went the more confidence they showed 
on the line, delighting the field, especially the followers of the 
otter and hare, to whom it was a revelation. Getting away into 
the open, the line always turned to the nearest fence, the little 
pack struggling gallantly through the long grass, quickening 
their pace when they had it along a dry ditch bottom. The 
district was an impoverished one of waste land, with patches of 
gorse and bracken, more suitable for golf-links and common 
land than high farming. After going a mile or more, a loose 
stone wall was reached, which occasioned a considerable check. 
It was quite possible that the stoat might have laid up in the wall, 
and a diligent search was made, for hounds were suddenly at 
fault and could make nothing of it, though their huntsman gave 

IQO Pop goes the Weasel. 

them every assistance. At last a young hound named Tattle, 
with a very sensitive nose, feeling about wide of the pack, got a 
whiff of the ravishing perfume some twenty yards away down 
the wall side, at right angles to where they had checked. It 
was pretty evident that the stoat had gone on the top of the wall 
for that distance and foiled the scent, dropping down into the 
field, a comer of which he crossed. A clump of may-bushes by 
a stream was the next point, the whipper-in going forward to 
get a view. The trail was a hot one, and the experienced hunter 
realised that he was not far behind his quarry, whose cunning 
directly he realised his danger would give the pack a puzzle to 
unravel. By the stream stood the whipper-in, motionless as if 
carved in stone, his keen eye watching for any sign of a ripple 
on the water. With a cheery cry hounds had the line up to the 
may-bushes, pressing through the tangle and weeds right up to 
the water's edge, where they checked, cast up and down the bankt 
coming back on their line. The whipper-in never moved an 
eyelash, and the master held hounds back to the beginning of 
the may-bush belt. The tops of the strong branches of the fence 
were searched by a keen pair of eyes, and the handy pole stirred 
up any suspicious-looking bunch of leaves. It was not long before 
a lithe red form was seen moving through the topmost branches, 
with the activity of a squirrel. A second later, * tally ho !* shouted 
the lynx-eyed whipper-in as he viewed a snake-like form drop 
with a tiny splash into the stream, and swim to the far shore to 
land amongst a bunch of weed. 

The master's silver whistle rang out, and every hound threw 
his tongue as they dashed into the stream, keen as mustard, 
to taste blood. It was an exciting moment for the following, 
many of whom regarded a trail-hunt in the light of a will-o'- 
the-wisp ; but now every eye was intently watching the 
wealth of weed and grass, hoping to view the stoat. Helping 
hands were ready to pull hounds out of the tangle at the 
water's edge, and full of drive they flashed on into the rough 
field beyond, where they spread themselves like a fan. The 
stoat, however, had not gone on, and some volunteered that 
he had sought the shelter of a rat-hole on the bank. Not so the 
master, who was confident that his quarry would trust to flight 
and cunning so long as he had room to move, for many a stoat 
had defeated the pack before, when they appeared to be all on 
the top of him. 

Using a rat-run on the water's edge, the hunted one had 

Grayling Gossip. 191 

slipped along at an incredible pace under cover of the weed, 
and when rough ground favoured him he wriggled through the 
grass to a patch of gorse-bushes. The quick eye of the whipper- 
in, always on the look-out for a view forward, just spied the stoat 
as he defiantly looked back at his enemies, before disappearing 
into the black recesses of the bushes. Hounds struggling in the 
tangle and long grass were fairly held up, and it required several 
precious minutes before they could extricate themselves to 
again hit off the line. 

The chase had been continuous for the best part of an hour, 
and only wanted a kill to crown the performance ; but the 
average bag for a season's sport is not heavy, some fifteen head 
being considered quite satisfactory. It was not until the hunt 
had come to a full stop, and there was every appearance that the 
quarry had beaten his pursuers, that some one by chance tapped 
a gorse-bush with his stick. With an angry chuckle, out flicked 
the stoat, going like an arrow back again to the stream. The 
whipper-in, as usual, was in the right spot, and his wild gesti- 
culation was too much for the hunted one, who paused, sat up 
for a second, making a lightning plan for a new move. Back 
he turned for the covert to meet old Lucy, who gave one snap, 
and missed her hold, getting pinked on her own muzzle for the 
trouble she had taken. After ten minutes' lively hunting, when 
every hound and follower thought they had the stoat safe, a 
smothered worry with a most angry chorus proclaimed the 
finish. The little pack had fairly hunted their quarry down, and 
showed extravagant ferocity as their master proudly held the 
trophy aloft, to the delight of the assembled field. 


By ], R. Roberts. 

JT has been well said, that as the trout is the gentle- 
man, so is the grayling the lady, of the stream. She 
is, indeed, a lady-like fish : graceful, gracious, 
fastidious, fanciful, and (may one whisper it ?) some- 
times fickle. Altogether, she is, truly, a fascinating creature. 

And observe, too, how convenient and obliging she is — the 
fly- fisher's stop-gap! — coming into season as the trout go out, 

192 Grayling Gossip, 

and contrariwise. Grayling spawn in April and May ; begin to 
come into condition towards August, assuming their winter full- 
dress after the first early frosts of September ; and are in full fig 
to frolic with their angling lovers all through the otherwise dark 
and dreary days of winter. Thus, at the two equinoctial periods 
— at Michaelmas and at Lady Day— first, when trout are going out 
and grayling coming in, and secondly, when grayling are going 
out and trout coming in — the fly-fisher, casting for the gentle- 
man, may expect to hook the lady, and vice versd. 

But anglers are not all in love with My Lady Grayling. 
Some of them would banish her from the stream. As one of 
her ardent admirers, I would sing her praises, to the extent of a 
paragraph — not didactically, I hope ; but with the licence allow- 
able to a lover, warmly espousing the cause of his mistress. 

The fly-fisher, who lives within reach of a good grayling 
stream, has a great advantage over his brother-rodmen, who can 
only command a day now and then amongst the trout ; because 
the trout-fisherman usually finishes his sport for the year some 
time in September; while the grayling-fisher's sport is only then 
commencing, or ought only then to commence. And, whereas 
the trout-fishcr often has only trout (bar coarse vermin) in his 
river, the grayling-fisher who has grayling in his river, is rarely 
or never without trout also ; and thus, with judicious manage- 
ment, he can continue to get fly-fishing virtually all the year 
round. Many trout-fishers Object to grayling in their waters, 
under the notion that the ladies injure the gentlemen. But it 
may well be doubted whether any number of grayling injure the 
trout so much as the same number of trout do. It is true that 
the grayling may devour some of the trout spawn ; so also do 
the trout ; but the grayling is not a fish of prey, and does not, 
save on rare occasions, feed on the fry of fish ; while the trout 
thinks nothing, like Saturn, of devouring his own progeny by 
the dozen. Grayling have been killed, I have heard, on a 
spinning minnow ; but authentic cases of such capture are so 
rare as merely to prove the rule that her ladyship is mainly and 
largely vegetarian and insectivorous. The fact would appear to 
be, that you cannot keep so many trout in as good condition in 
your stream, if you have grayling in it also, as J^ou can if you 
have not (because of their mutual food supply, other than 
piscine) ; but if you are willing, for the sake of extending your 
sport through the winter, and having twelve months* fly-fishing 
instead of five or six months, you can, with a little management, 

Grayling Gossip. 193 

chiefly in the direction of the furnishing of aliment, have both in 
almost any proportions you may elect — provided always, that the 
river is suitable for the two varieties of game fish. 

Some think our fair subject inferior to the trout in flavour, 
but the fish, approved of gastronomes, is rarely exposed for 
sale, and is unknown to the popular palate. Moreover, like the 
trout, the herring, the mackerel, and most fishes, it must be 
•eaten fresh — just out of the water. And, furthermore, grayling 
rise freely in April, May, June, and July, when fishermen as well 
as fish, are specially * on the move.' But these summer shote 
grayling (or yearlings), and spent or otherwise out-of-season 
specimens, most frequently taken, eaten, and gastronomically 
judged, differ as much from what they are in the period of full 
black-backed pride, as does a February trout from one glutted 
with the June may-fly banquet. 

A dainty, odorous fish, smelling of thyme or cucumber, it is 
alike lovely in the water, on the table, and on the hand ; the 
last being the place where, fresh caught, to observe its autumnal, 
its wintry, its full-pride beauty. Then the proud angler sees the 
purple back, the lustrous, irregularly placed spots, the white 
under part, and the typical, prominent, iridescent back fin. 
She wears a coat of many colours, of varied hues— all quiet — in 
the best of ladylike good taste. 

The principal grayling rivers in our islands are, I understand, 
the Teme, Lugg, and Wye, in Salop and Herefordshire ; Wye, 
Derwent,and Dove in Derbyshire ; Ure and Swale in Yorkshire; 
and Avon, Itchin, and Test in Hants. Of these waters I am 
-only piscatorially acquainted, save very casually, with Wye and 
Teme, and tributaries thereof : Wye, Lugg, and Arrow ; and 
Teme, Rea, Clun, Corve, Ledwyche, and Onny. There 
are huge grayling in the Hampshire waters: specimens up to 
4 lb. and even 5 lb. — they say. This is great and glorious, for 
anything over 3 lb. is a grand and gracious grayling. Teme 
specimens are celebrated alike for size, beauty, and flavour. 
From that river my largest fish has been 3 lb. Similarly on 
Lugg and Arrow. Wye grayling average \ lb. ; the bigger fish 
dropping down-stream and ascending the more congenial waters 
of Lugg and Arrow, which, I presume, afford more appropriate 

Indeed, our lady seems to be always dropping down, whilst 
the gentlemanlike trout is ever running upwards. I have 
observed that, as regards these Wye grayling, they are, 

1 94 Grayling Gossip. 

annually, continually descending. In the summer, you find 
them on a certain reach to-day ; to-morrow they are gone. You 
must seek them on and about the ford below; the next day 
lower still, and so on. Finally, towards autumn, the best fish 
are hard to find in the main river. They have passed into the 
tributary streams, such as Lugg and Arrow, wherein they are 
very fine and large. 

Those of us who have fished much for both trout and 
grayling, have observed a marked difference in their way of 
feeding, and, therefore, in their manner of taking or rejecting a 
bait. This is largely owing, of course, to a difference in con- 
formation, the trout darting laterally to its food, and the 
grayling rising perpendicularly to the same. Trout, too, if they 
are * on the job,* will sport at any fly of a tempting colour and 
size, particularly in rapid and broken waters. But grayling 
will, ordinarily, do no such thing. Generally, but not invariably, 
they demand that we should present — and present delicately* 
slenderly, and small — the exact hue of the fly they are feeding 
upon at the time. Then, you may often have sport subsequently 
to ruminate and dream about, for they congregate so much, and 
care so little for the death-struggles of their comrades, that you 
may sometimes take many in succession in the space of a few 
yards of water. In this respect they are like unto Walton's 
perch, which, * resembling the wicked of the world, are not afraid, 
though their fellows and companions perish in their sight.' But 
we are to note that we must strive hard not to prick and lose a 
grayling, for after one fish has made her escape, we shall find it 
difficult to delude another lady in the same vicinity. 

Angling for grayling last September on the Wye, a few 
miles below Hay, I was so fortunate as to happen upon a perfect 
ladies' school. Standing in two feet of water, and casting a red 
tag across a stream towards its further side, I took consecutively 
eleven grayling, averaging i lb. each. Every fish was lightly 
conducted downwards, and was netted below. I waded to the 
bank and creeled my prize, passed upwards, resumed my old 
stand in the river, and repeated the operation. It was almost like 
shelling peas. No more grayling there or thereabouts that day; 
not a touch in that vicinity on the morrow. But, later, the fish 
were encountered about a mile down-stream. 

On this occasion, having taken eight nice little grayling, and 
failing to move others, I put on a largish Zulu, minded to 
slaughter a chub and improve the river. Throwing upon a deep 

Grayling Gossip. 195 

pool, below a tiny weir, I hooked the bottom of the river as I 
thought at first : then I thought I was fast into a salmon ; then, 
after some fine play and flouncing, I got below and netted a 
monster grayling — locally considered. It scaled 2\ lbs. It was 
foul-hooked in the vent, and was so badly injured that I had to 
retain it, perforce. 

In common with many others, I have observed that, unlike 
trout, grayling do not usually poise themselves near the surface 
of the water. They lie deep, and come upwards to observe and 
I>ossibly seize the fly. They look at it, examine it, gingerly 
touch it, mouth it delicately, and perhaps take it, perform a 
somersault, and plunge downwards. Thus we find that they will 
allow the angler to approach them nearer than will the watchful 
trout — and thus we find that much delicacy and accuracy of 
attack have to be observed by us. With a heavy grayling, 
when hooked, a good deal of humouring is requisite. Trout- 
anglers almost invariably lose their grayling, at first, through 
want of patience and too heavy handling. The strike — if any 
be necessary beyond the faintest wrist-action — must be tender 
and timely ; after which, get below the quarry, and thus avoid 
the stress of the current being added to the strain of the fish. 

If I may be allowed to be a little illustratively auto- 
biographical, without being considered as egotistic and unduly 
preceptive, I would state that there is a grand grayling pool on 
the Wye, about midway between Hereford and Hay. To this 
pool I have annually repaired, daily, throughout several Sep- 
tembers past. Wading deeply and standing with difficulty in a 
rapid current, one casts downwards upon a pool of rolling 
water, at the tail of which is a still length of river, as deep as a 
church tower. Day after day, year after year, hoping against 
hope, here annually I try for a grayling. Upon every occasion 
I rise and hook at least one massive fish. There is a rise, a tug, 
a flick of returning cast and line, and the monster grayling is 
gone! What with the weight of the quarry, what with the 
power of the current, what with the first plunge, and what with 
the impossibility of getting not only below, but even athwart of 
the fish, there always results a heart-breaking breakage. And 
the pity of it is that those fish vary from two to three pounds 
each, the evidence being supplied by the successes of unorthodox 
practitioners, who successfully employ, on strong tackle and in 
-clouded water, such baits as grasshoppers, wasp-grubs, maggots, 
worms, and the like. 

196 Grayling Gossip. 

In most rivers containing grayling, the fish are not found in 
the swift uppermost waters, nor are any but small or immature 
specimens encountered upon scours, fords, or stickles. They 
seem to prefer deeper and stiller waters, at the bottom of which 
they lie during the hot noontide hours of the summer and early 
autumn months. These fish have acquired the reputation of 
being less crafty, and therefore more easily deluded than trout. 
This may have originated from the fact of their being some- 
times inclined, like their congener, the salmon, to take some 
gaudy monstrosity resembling no living insect in creation ; for, 
truly, we do sometimes kill grayling on large flies. But the 
angler who contemplates combating the thymy grayling with 
such unnatural lures will almost invariably be disappointed. 
Although in an exceptional way a fish now and again at rare 
intervals may be deluded and turned over by almost anything 
fashioned of silk, fur, and feathers, usually grayling are found to 
be more discriminating in discerning the points of diflerence 
between the natural and the artificial than any trout that ever 
flirted contumelious tail at hamate hook. Prodigious takes of 
grayling (up to three daily baskets of 20 lb. each, they say) 
have been secured when the fish are feeding freely on the fly ; 
but these are effected — if effected — by the exercise of considerable 
proficiency, care, and caution on the part of the happy rod- 
man. Most important it is to employ the finest of gut collars, 
upon which are mounted small and attractive and seasonable 
flies, such as yellow and other duns, willow and needle, cin- 
namon, redspinner, March brown, tiny coachman, and, especially, 
red tag. There are also green-insect ; little chap, for fine and 
bright weather ; the smock, taken by the fish for house or wood 
fly, in the chilly or cold days of October and November ; and 
the apple-green for autumn use, the best of all the nondescript 
or fancy flies. 

The Lady Thymallus has many coquettish tricks wherewith 
to allure and baffle her admirers. Sometimes she allows the fly 
to pass her again and again, finally lipping it and taking it 
down-stream. Then the angler does not always know what 
is on — in more than one sense, and, striking at last, fails to hit 
her ladyship. Sometimes, too, grayling will examine the fly in 
a very leisurely manner. A gentle hitch should always be given 
before withdrawing the line for a fresh cast, when a mutual attach- 
ment will not infrequently be discovered by both parties con- 
cerned. Only a gentle hitch, just .sufficient to drive the steel 

A Record Otter Hunt. 197 

home. Thus fish are often killed which would otherwise let go^ 
break away, or escape. The very largest specimens take the 
fly in a most nonchalant, unostentatious style ; wherefore it is 
essential to give a slight feeling motion of the wrist at the least 
possible indication of a rise. 

For myself I have found that the grayling-fisher must learn- 
his water from practical experience. The fish are to be found 
at certain intervals — frequent on the Teme ; perhaps a mile or so 
apart on the Wye — in some favourite and suitable haunts, where 
they will well-nigh always feed, though they might not perhaps 
look at the artificial fly elsewhere. These spots can only be 
found by diligent and intelligent search, the angler being, of 
course, largely guided by his knowledge of that which constitutes 
good grayling-water — long, green plumes of weeds, a depth of 
three feet or so, a temperature not too high, a gentle, rolling 
stream, the tails of pools, and the edges of currents ; all affected 
by the hour of the day, the state of the weather, and the time of 
the year. 

When these likely spots are discovered, we note them, of 
course, as we do also the killing flies, in due season, on various 
waters, and under different circumstances. Generally we find 
that grayling do not appear to relish the palmer family of flies,, 
though a yellow palmer will sometimes prove attractive in the 
early part of the season. Ordinarily, .the duns and the midges 
are preferable. To the list already tentatively given we might 
add the sedge, the hare's ear, and Wickham's fancy, and then 
our selection of grayling flies will be practically complete for 
use from Michaelmas to Candlemas. 


By * Marshman.' 

^OOK! If that's not the spur of an otter, Tm a 
Dutchman!* exclaimed my friend M. to me one 
morning as we were jogging along the bank of the 
Klip River on our Basuto ponies after an im- 
promptu game of polo on the ground which to-day, I believe,, 
forms the playing-field of the Rand Polo Club. 

198 A Record Otter Hunt. 

In a moment I was out of the saddle and examining the patch 
of grey mud which my companion had pointed out to me. Yes ; 
there could be no doubt about it, the pad-prints were those of 
Master Lutra^ and upon searching the banks of the stream 
a little lower down we discovered the half-eaten remains 
of a yellow-fish, which had probably afforded him a breakfast 
that very morning, for the fish had not been out of the water 
many hours. 

' Tell you what, D.,' went on M., as he puffed out a great 
cloud of rank Boer tobacco smoke until the pure morning air 
simply reeked of * burned rags,' * we'll get together a bobbery 
pack, and have an otter hunt ; Tm simply wasting to see a little 
hound-work of some sort.' 

I agreed that the suggestion was excellent, but wondered 
the while where the material for the pack was to come from. 

* Oh, don't worry your noble head on that score,* remarked 
M., as we cantered across a wide stretch of veldt which lay 
between the river and our bungalow. * We'll go into town this 
-evening, and if we can*t borrow dogs, we'll steal 'em ' (he spoke 
quite seriously), * and if we can't get together a pack by borrowing 
and stealing, hanged if we won't buy up the Dogs' Home. I saw 
the catchers net some devilish varmint-looking curs in Com- 
missioner Street yesterday, and you may bet that old pony of 
yours against a tickey ' (3^.) — *you won't stand to lose much, for 
he's twenty years if he's a day — that there will be no lack of 
Klogs awaiting their turn in the lethal chamber, poor devils,' 
rattled on my mercurial companion as he cast a covetous leer at 
my pony, Bushman, who, although somewhat aged, was as good 
and clever a little animal as ever looked through a bridle. 

* I should hate to offer you old Bushman for thirty anyway, 
M., for I know you'd jump at the offer, and I should lose the 
best pony I ever threw leg across.' 

That same evening M. and myself rode into the golden city, 
and having dined at the club, my friend proceeded to tr>^ and 
borrow a dog from every man with whom he had a * nodding 

* Well, I've got a pointer,' or * You may have my setters,' 
were the kind of replies made to M.'s cool request. But in 
most cases the owners of the dogs would, after consenting to 
lend their setter, pointer, or retriever, as the case might be, ask, 

What do you want the dog for— korhaan ? ' 'No, otters.' 
* Otters be d d, you can't have him for that kind of game,' 

A Record Otter Hunt. 199 

and away would go the dog's owner in a huff. We — or rather 
M. — managed to 'bag' two and a half couple from different 
members of the club, namely, a bull-terrier (blind of an eye), 
one Irish and two fox-terriers, an ancient spaniel (he went on 
three legs by choice), and a powerful skewbald animal, of 
doubtful breed, which was promptly christened * Window- 

After leaving the club we visited the stables of the principal 
horsedealer in the place, who promised to bring as many dogs 
as he could commandeer to the ' meet,' which, by the way, was 
to take place at a certain small hostelry on the bank of the Klip 
River, the hour of five o'clock being fixed, for, as many of our 
readers are aware, the South African veldt holds practically no 
scent after the heavy night dews have been dissipated by the 
hot rays of the sun. 

Bidding the worthy merchant in horse-flesh ' good evening,' 
we walked down Commissioner Street until the Dogs' Home was 
reached. It was now nearly nine o'clock, and the Dutchman in 
chaise of the Home did not appear over-pleased at being dis- 
turbed by a couple of verdammte rooineks. A golden disc, 
bearing the effigy of Oom Paul, gave us the entr/e to the kennels, 
however, and ten minutes later we were being towed up the 
principal streets of Johannesburg in the wake of a spotted 
weasel-like Kaffir dog and a powerful half-bred Airedale terrier, 
which subsequently proved herself to be the best of the whole 

* We'll call this a day's work^ D., for Tm about tired of dog- 
catching for one evening,' said my companion, as we discussed 
a long schooner of iced lager beer before we set out on our 
ponies homewards. The idea of calling it a day's work appealed 
to me amazingly, for, to tell the truth, I had become heartily 
sick of the very sight of a dog since the Kaffir cur had started 
to tow me from the Dogs' Home. 

On the evening preceding the important fixture, men of 
all sorts and sizes, accompanied by dogs of many breeds and 
colours, from stately mastiffs down to weasel-bodied Kaffir 
mongrels (pointers, setters, and sporting dogs generally, were 
conspicuous by their absence), began to turn up at our modest 
four-roomed bungalow until we were at our wits' end where 
and how to accommodate them for the night, while the * pack,' 
which was kennelled pro tern, in the stables behind, set up a 
perfect pandemonium, howling and fighting like so many devils 


200 A Record Oiler Hunt. 

incarnate. It is a poor heart that never rejoices, however, and 
having dispatched a couple of natives with a four-wheeled buggy 
to bring in all the available chairs (i>., empty barrels and boxes) 
from a neighbouring store, M. and I set to work to prepare a 
huge iron pot of stew from a fine blesbok which my friend had 
shot a few days before. Our thirteen guests sat in the stoep 
smoking their after-dinner pipes, and discussing the prospects of 
sport on the morrow over a glass of Scotch whisky, and M. and 
myself were placing * shake-downs ' for them, when Tom P., the 
jovial huntsman of the then lately imported pack of English 
foxhounds, which was kennelled a few miles away, rode up to 
the bungalow with a couple of old hounds. 

* Good evening, gentlemen ; the Master's compliments, and he 
sent old Amazon and Guardsman for you to try : I doubt neither 
of 'em have ever seen an otter since they were whelped, but they 
took kindly enough to both jackal and buck,* said Tom, before 
bur>'ing his nose in a long sleever of * Bass/ 

* It's very good of Mr. (M.F.H.). and I hope you will 

lend us a hand to-morrow, Tom.' 

* Well, gentlemen, I've only been out with otter-hounds once 
in my life, and that was a good many years ago ; but as it's an 
oflf day with me to-morrow, I should be glad to hunt with you/ 
was Tom's reply ; and as the nights were fine and dry, he elected 
to take up his quarters on the stoep that night. 

The first bright spears of the sun were beginning to 
bathe the summits of a distant chain of low-lying kopjes in a 
golden flood, when old Mamba, our Swazi servant, awoke the 
slumbering echoes of the bungalow by playing the devil's tattoo 
on a kettle, saucepan, or some other instrument of torture. Very 
soon every man was out of the blankets, and a general rush was 
made for the little bathing^place which M. and myself had made 
by deepening a small willow-fringed spruit or brook that ran at 
no great distance from the bungalow, and which formed our 
matutinal place of ablution in fair weather and in foul. 

It was well that we laid in a goodly store of provisions, for our 
guests by this time numbered no fewer than twenty-two hungry 
men, nearly half of whom had either hacked or driven out of 
Johannesburg long before sunrise, amongst them the wife of the 
horse-dealer mentioned earlier herein, a keen little Irish sports- 
woman, who informed us in the richest of brogue, that * Sure if 
she had a five-pound note for ivery drag she'd seen with the 
King's, it's a warm woman she'd be that day indade.' 

A Record Otter Hunt. 201 

The expression on Tom P.'s weather-beaten face when 
we took him round to inspect the ' pack ' which was playing up 
merry hades in the stables, would have been worth a * Jew's eye * 
to Finch Mason, and no fond mother ever hugged her offspring 
closer in passing through a mob than did honest Tom his coupl^ of 
aristocratic English foxhounds, when that canine rabble tried to 
strike up an acquaintance with them. * 'Ware cur dog. Guards- 
man.' * Come in, Amazon.' * Get out, you ugly yaller varmint ' 
(as he took a flying kick at one of the Kaffir dogs which had 
evidently fallen violently in love with old Amazon). * Dear me, 
I never set eyes on such a lot o' rag-tail devils in all me born 
days,' cried Tom in dismay, as he whipped off the nondescript 

* pack ' from his beloved hounds. Gad ! they were a lot of 
devils, in very truth, as I, their huntsman, was bound to confess. 

No sooner had the noble animals been released from durance 
vile than two and a-half (I stick religiously to hunting tech- 
nology) of the twelve and a-half couple (including the three- 
l^ged spaniel) started off across the veldt on a bee-line for 
Johannesburg, while the Kaffir mongrel and his late companion 
in distress—the half-bred Airedale bitch — commenced a battle 
royal on the stoep to decide which of them should retain pos- 
session of a shoulder of blesbok that had been commandeered 
from the breakfast-table by the former. With much yelling and 
cracking of thongs a couple of men galloped off to try and turn 
the fleeting deserters back. They (the deserters) divided forces, 
however, and the gallant whippers-in only succeeded in capturing 
the ancient spaniel which, as before mentioned, carried a hind 
leg up by choice. No use in crying over spilt milk, or rather 
sped curs, however, and having coupled what remained of the 

* pack ' with pieces of old reins and rope, off we trotted for Dick 
Sullivan's saloon, where we found some twenty fresh recruits 
waiting to be initiated into the art of otter-hunting. 

It was now a good half-hour after the appointed time, and 
away we all started to the river, with the exception of one or two 
thirsty souls who remained in the bar for a second or third nerve- 
binder, possibly fearful that the excitement of the sport in hand 
would prove too much for them. 

Just before the bank of the stream was reached a hare sprang 
from her form in a patch of rank grass, and away across the veldt 
she sped with the coupled, yapping curs, scrapping and falling 
over one another like so many boys in a sack race, in their anxiety 
to get on terms with Mistress Lepus Carpensis, who, with one lug 

202 A Record Otter Hunt. 

laid down and the other pricked, quietly lopped over the arid 
plain as though she rather enjoyed the fun. Suddenly the air 
was rent with, * 'Ware hare, ye varmints ; 'ware riot, dang your 
blood ! Ye ought to know better, ye fools, after all the laming 
ye had in the old country,* &c. 

The staid old couple of foxhounds, suddenly seized with the 
rioting fever of the canine rabble, had— probably for the first 
time in their lives since puppyhood — broken away from the 
astonished and outraged huntsman, and across the veldt they 
raced in the wake of the hare, their deep, bell-like voices almost 
drowning the yapping of the struggling rabble of cur-dogs. 

Still rating and cussing, Tom jumped on to the pony of one 
of the field, who, owing to a great breadth of beam had been 
granted permission to ride to* hounds,* and offhe galloped in pur- 
suit of Amazon and Guardsman, as if his Satanic Majesty was 
behind him, while the rest of the field—including M., first whip, 
and myself — laid into the pack with hearty goodwill. At 
length we had them in hand again, and five minutes later the 
banks of the river were being drawn : one half, led by the Aire- 
dale, working the right and the other half the left-hand side. For 
perhaps forty minutes nothing wearing fur or hair was moved., 
then suddenly one of the Kaffir dogs made a rush into a patch 
of scrub that grew down to the water-edge, and out bolted a 
meerkat, which led the pack a merry burst across the veldt for 
quite a minute-and-a-half s duration. Then with a flirt of his 
tail, as though to wish his pursuers * good-bye,* he disappeared 
into his burrow, which ran for many feet under the surface of 
the hard -baked earth. Some little time was wasted in getting 
the pack to the water again, but when finally they were 
whipped back to draw for the legitimate quarry, the Airedale, 
after feathering round a growth of dry rushes for a few moments, 
gave a whimper, and away along the bank she drove, with the 
whole canine rabble — barring the foxhounds, which, possibly 
mindful of the trouble they had already got into through run- 
ning the hare, refused to work a yard of the trail, but kept 
religiously at their huntsman's heels — yowling and yapping for 
all they were worth. 

The fun was fast and furious while it lasted, and the manner 
in which the man of weight rode to the flying pack and wheeze- 
ingly cheered it on — in spite of antbear earths, meerkat holes, 
and other horse-traps, with which in parts the veldt was honey- 
combed — was refreshing to see. * Hounds * very soon came to a 

A Record Otter Hunt. 203 

check, however, at the junction, a narrow but very deep spruit of 
the river. 

Thinking it not improbable that the otter — I knew the 
quarry to be an otter from the working of the dogs — ^had taken 
to the smaller stream, I took the Airedale bitch and half-a-dozen 
of the mo^t likely of the mongrels (amongst them the ' Kaffir '), 
which, although wild as hawks, possessed wonderful scent, a 
short distance along the spruit, while M. tried forward with 
the remainder. 

The old bitch proved herself a rattling good worker, and along 
under the shelving bank she hunted until, with a whimper, she 
was on the trail again and going hell-for-leather, with the others 
close in her wake. 

With a * halloa ' to the rest of the field — only three of whom 
had accompanied me — I * footed it ' for all I knew to keep on 
terms with my * flying hounds,' which ran eagerly enough, and at 
a pace which proclaimed a breast-high scent. 

Suddenly a loud *hieu gaze,' from a youngster whose long 
legs enabled him to pass everyone on the field, caused me to put 
on a spurt, and looking forward I saw a fine otter running under 
the far bank of the stream, about three hundred yards ahead of 
the leading dog. 

In spite of the pitiable pack of mongrels I was hunting, 
every nerve in my body quivered with excitement ; and how I 
longed for a few couples of good English otter-hounds at that 
moment. On and on ran the gallant animal, now on the level 
veldt, now under the steep bank of the narrow water-way ; and 
now those weasel-barrelled Kaffir mongrels begin to press him, 
and the old Airedale bitch is no laggard. The spruit widens 
out, and the quarry takes to the water. The dogs are puzzled at 
the sudden disappearance of their game, enabling M. and a 
few of the field to bring up the rest of the yapping, 
howling pack. * Chain the stream below ! there he blows T 
cries the leggy youngster, who comes rushing towards us point- 
ing to a chain of air-bubbles which rise to the surface from 
below the turbid stream. The youngster, a West-countryman, 
and no novice at the sport in hand, is right. The otter finds he 
has made a mistake in leaving the main stream, and is trying to 
double back to it under cover of water. 

In a moment half-a-dozen of us were up to our breasts in 
water, hand in hand, and with our feet moving from side to side 
to stop the gallant amphibian's passage. The motley pack are 

204 The Undoing of Jevons, 

now yapping all round us, some on the bank and some in the 
water, amongst the latter the three-legged spaniel. 

* Look out ! here he comes !* shouts some one from the bank, 
as a volume of bubbles rise to the surface, not a dozen yards 

*Gad! he touched my leg!' cries the centre man of the 
chain, in a half-scared manner. A great swirl of chumed-up 
water as the otter, frightened by the moving legs, turns, tells us 
that the * middle-link ' does not err in the statement. 

'There he blows!' and begad old three-legs has him, 
but the old spaniels collared him too f^r astern, and the 
otter, turning, fastens on to his canine enemy, and the pair dis- 
appear from view into the oozy depths of the stream. 

* For Heaven's sake, save my dog!' cries the weighty horse- 
man, as he rolls himself out of the saddle, and commences 
to run up and down the bank, as though debating within himself 
as to whether he should dive into the spruit and rescue gallant 
old ' three-legs.' 

Suddenly the leggy youngster jumped into the stream, and 
as the tip of the otter's * pole ' appeared above the surface of the 
water, he had it ; and the next moment, with a great swing, both 
dog and otter lay gasping on the veldt, for neither had released 
their hold, and both were too done to show further fight. 

It was not without a feeling of repugnance that I saw my 
bobbery pack worry the last spark of life out of their gallant 
quarry, but were I to say that I did not enjoy my first and only 
otter-hunt on a South African Klip River I should scarcely speak 
the truth. 


By Francis B. Cooke. 

HAD just arrived in London after a six-months' 
sojourn on the Continent, and, suffering from a 
surfeit of foreign kickshaws, rather pined for a good 
honest English dinner. Moreover, I wanted com- 
pany, for after spending the best part of a week in trains, to say 
nothing of the trip across channel, I was heartily sick of myself. 
So, having arranged for my luggage to be sent up to my rooms, 
I jumped into a hansom and drove to the Wanderers' Club. 

The Undoing of Jevons. 205 

In a few minutes the hall porter was handing me a large 
packet of letters, the accumulation of months, which brought 
home to me the fact that I had been sadly neglecting my duties 
to Society. 

* You are a stranger, sir/ 

* Yes ; Tve been away on the Continent. Is there any one 
that I know in the club, Mason } ' I inquired. 

* Yes, sir ; Mr. Jevons is in the billiard-room.* 

' Mr. Jevons ! ' I echoed in surprise, and inwardly chuckled to 
think that he should so soon have kicked over the traces and 
returned to his bachelor habits. When I left England, some 
six months previously, Jevons was on the point of marrying 
Mrs. Mainwaring, a wealthy young widow, and almost my last 
act ere I set out upon my travels had been to send them a 
wedding present. 

Sauntering upstairs to the billiard-room, I found my old 
chum engaged in idly knocking about the balls, and hastened to 
congratulate him upon his marriage. Now, it struck me that 
my little speech was rather well turned, but to my astonishment 
it was received with a coolness that could be skated upon. 

* Have I said anything indiscreet, Jevons ? ' 

* Indiscreet ! ' he replied indignantly — * oh, I forgot ; youVe 
been away, and probably have not heard.* 

* Heard what ? ' I asked. 

* Why, about my marriage. It's all off, you know.* 

*All off!* I exclaimed; *why, I thought you had been 
married for months.* 

* Well,* said Jevons, * I suppose I had better tell you all about 
it before you hear a garbled version from some one else. It's 
sufficiently ridiculous as it is, without the addition of local 
colouring. Why, I daren*t show my face within twenty miles 
of Mudsea. The people down there have been laughing at me 
and my misfortune ever since it happened, and the local " rag " 
has even had the impertinence to print, facetious paragraphs 
about me. But let us dine first, if you are not already 

Whatever might be the nature of Jevons* misfortunes, they 
had evidently not impaired his appetite, for he did full justice to 
the excellent dinner set before us. As for myself, I had been so 
long a stranger to what I call a square meal, that I worthily 
seconded him and by tacit agreement serious conversation was 
tabooed. It was later on in the evening, when we were com- 

2o6 The Undoing of Jevons. 

fortably settled in a quiet comer of the smoking-room, with 
whiskies and cigars, that Jevons poured out his tale of woe. 

* You will doubtless remember/ he began, * that when you 
went away I was staying at the hotel at Harstowe, in order 
that I might be within easy reach of my fiancee. Although the 
place was some fifteen miles distant from Mrs. Mainwaring*s 
house at Mudsea, it was but little more than half an hour's 
journey in the train. The arrangement suited me admirably, 
as on off-days, when I did not go over to Mudsea Hall, I 
managed to get some excellent sailing in a little three-ton sloop, 
the Scarlet Runner^ which had been lent me by a friend. But such 
details are not likely to interest you, and I will pass on to the 
events which led to my undoing. The marriage ceremony had 
been fixed for half-past two on July 17th, and it was arranged 
that I should come over from Harstowe by train, and go straight 
to the church, leaving my luggage at the station in readiness 
for our honeymoon trip. I agreed to this plan more to please 
Mrs. Mainwaring than anything else, for she is very superstitious, 
and it is deemed unlucky for a bride and bridegroom to see one 
another on the morning of their wedding. But, far from pro- 
pitiating the fates, this pandering to superstition proved to be 
the cause of all my misfortunes. 

* No man ever awoke to a fairer prospect on his wedding 
mom. The country-side was bathed in glorious sunshine, and 
gazing out across the shimmering sea my eyes dwelt with satis- 
faction upon the brilliantly illuminated sails of smacks wending 
their way homewards after a night of toil, for the red-brown tint 
of their canvas imparted a pleasing splash of colour to a scene 
that was altogether delightful. What a day for a sail, I thought, 
as I looked wistfully down at the Scarlet Runner^ which lay at 
her moorings, rocking gently to the laughing wavelets that 
caressed her shining sides. Then I was seized by one of those 
sudden impulses which have ever been my undoing. Why 
shouldn't I sail round to Mudsea? It was less than twenty 
miles distant, and the wind was fair. I could easily send my 
lu&gage by train, and dress at the hotel on my arrival. Far 
better, I thought, than loafing about doing nothing all the morn- 
ing. The little programme I had sketched out was irresistibly 
attractive, and I dressed with all speed. Then, whilst my break- 
fast was being prepared, I finished packing, and made arrange- 
ments for my luggage to be dispatched to Mudsea. An hour 
later the Scarlet Runner was under way, and heading for the 

The Undoing of Jevons. 207 

mouth of the harbour. I had not enjoyed a sail for over a week^ 
and it was good to feel the pulsating tiller in my grasp once 
more. As the good little ship sped across the smooth waters 
of the harbour, I felt at peace with all the world. Never had 
pipe tasted so sweet as on this the last morning of bachelorhood, 
and the sizzling of the water along the boat's side was as music in 
my ears. A few wild plunges as the bar was crossed, and the 
Scarlet Runner felt the heave of the open sea. Then I eased 
the sheets, and bore up for the run along the coast to Mudsea. 

* It was a scorching hot day, but for the first hour or so the 
heat, tempered by the cool breeze, was not oppressive. Then 
the wind began to fall light, and as the sun rose higher in the 
heavens I soon began to feel unpleasantly warm. Presently 
the breeze died away altogether, and the Scarlet Runner lay 
rolling lazily in the trough of the sea, with no steerage-way. 
It was very annoying certainly, but there was as yet no cause to 
worry, for the tide was still carrying us towards our destination ; 
and it was, moreover, comparatively early. But, after lolloping 
about in the sweltering calm for about half an hour, I could 
stand it no longer, and determined to have a swim. Lest a 
breeze should spring up in my absence from the boat, I lowered 
the jib and anchored. Then, stripping off my clothes, which I 
carelessly cast upon the deck, I plunged into the limpid water. 
It was most delightfully refreshing, and not realising the strength 
of the tide I swam a good deal further from the boat than was 
altogether wise. Indeed, I should probably have gone even 
further had not my attention been attracted by an approaching 
steamer that had suddenly appeared round the headland near 
by. It proved to be the Southern Queen, one of those big paddle- 
wheel trippers, and was crowded with passengers. You know 
how these " emetics " delight in going as close to small craft as 
they dare, in order to amuse their passengers, don't you ? Well, 
that is just what the Southern Queen did, and passing within a 
few yards of the Scarlet Runner nearly swamped the little boat. 
Although I noticed her rolling wildly in the steamer's wash, I 
was far too busy to pay much attention to the boat, as I had all 
my work cut out to get back. I could only just swim over the 
tide, and progress was painfully slow, but, turning on to my side, 
I plugged away for all I was worth. Foot by foot I won my 
way, and at length, after swimming for the best part of half an 
hour, I was able to grasp the rail of the Scarlet Runner, Climb- 
ing on board with the aid of the bobstay, I fell gasping on deck. 

2o8 The Undoing of Jevons, 

and lay there for some minutes whilst I recovered my breath. 
What a fool I had been ; but it is easy to be wise after the event, 
I thought. Pulling myself together, I got up and went aft to 
dress. To my unutterable horror I discovered that my clothes 
had vanished. All that remained was a solitary shoe that had 
tumbled into the well. In her wild antics, caused by the wash 
of the passing steamer, the Scarlet Runner had evidently rolled 
them overboard. And the worst of it was that not only my 
clothes had gone, but also my watch and a good deal more 
money than I could conveniently afford to lose. Was ever man 
placed in such a deuce of a predicament on his wedding mom ? 

* I at once jumped into the dinghy, and rowed about to see if 
I could find any of my garments still floating, but it was a for- 
lorn hope, and, soon abandoning the search, I returned to the 
boat to think matters over. It was obvious that I must go on 
to Mudsea, as, with the tide as it was, I could not return to 
Harstowe. I was, however, comforted with the reflection that I 
still had plenty of time before me, and, being naturally of an 
optimistic disposition, I thought I should be able to borrow 
some clothes on my arrival, go up to the hotel and dress, and 
finally appear at the church as if nothing untoward had hap- 
pened. My drooping spirits at once began to revive, and 
getting the anchor, I started to row the boat with a sweep. 
Presently a breeze sprang up, but, to my intense chagrin, it 
came from right ahead, and I began to have serious misgivings 
as to reaching Mudsea in time to carry out my programme. But 
it was quite a nice breeze, and, steering the boat as carefully as 
if I were competing for a valuable trophy, I determined not to 
abandon hope. 

* Mudsea, as no doubt you know, is situated about two miles 
from the mouth of the Ooze, and some little way inland from 
the river. As I approached the anchorage, I looked anxiously 
around in search of a waterman from whom I could borrow 
some clothes to cover my nakedness. Save for a small boat 
sailing about in the distance, there was not a sign of life to be 
seen. The little craft coming towards me was my only hope. 
I must have clothing at all costs, no matter what it was. Even 
a bathing-costume would be better than nothing, and I felt 
confident that, when I explained my predicament, the fellows 
sailing the boat would contrive to fit me out with something. 
Edging over towards the approaching boat, I stood up to hail 
her, and then, with a gasp of dismay, collapsed into the well of 

Tfu Undoing of Jevons. 209 

the Scarlet Runner, The crew of the boat consisted of two 

girls. For a minute or two I was completely nonplussed, but 

instinct told me to clear out. That, however, proved no easy 

job, for the other craft was quite as fast as the Scarlet Runner^ 

and I could not shake her off. VVhether it was by accident or 

■design, I know not, but that boat stuck to me like a leech. If I 

went about, she immediately followed suit, and when I bore up 

and ran for it, I found she was following in my wake. This 

game went on for quite a time, and, although I had no watch, 

the position of the sun warned me that it was getting late. I 

bitterly thought of the beautiful garments awaiting me at the 

hotel, and the recollection of a certain fancy waistcoat of subtle 

hue, that was a triumph of the sartorial art, made me desperate. 

I must have clothing at any price, and, with a hungry eye, I 

looked around me. Then I had a flash of inspiration. I would 

fashion unto myself a garment out of the jib, if I could only get 

it. But ere the sail could be unbent I must anchor, and that 

manoeuvre could only be effected by going on deck. How on 

•earth was I to bring up with that cursed boat following my 

^very movement ? Crouching down in the well, I watched her 

as a cat does a mouse, and presently had the satisfaction of 

seeing her enter a creek. Now was my opportunity, and, luffing 

liead to wind, I leapt on deck to let go the anchor. But it was 

not to be, for, glancing round to make sure the coast was clean 

I saw, to my disgust, the boat coming back into the river. She 

had merely stood into the entrance of the creek, and then gone 

about. With a muttered oath, I tumbled back into the well, 

barking my shin pretty badly in the process. Then I sat and 

glared at my tormentors. But surely she was moving very 

slowly ! I observed her closely, and could have cried for joy as 

it dawned upon me that the boat had run hard and fast ashore. 

* I dashed on deck and let go the anchor, lowered the main- 
sail, and finally unbent the little jib. This I wrapped around 
me after the fashion of a Roman toga, and tumbling into the 
dinghy, made for the shore. I landed on the sea-wall some little 
way from the hard, and struck out at a lively trot to cross the 
marshes to the hotel. What the hour was I had not the 
remotest idea, but I still hoped to be in time, and if I could not 
•devote the care to my toilet which the occasion demanded, well» 
it was not my fault. 

* It was about a mile from the river to the hotel, and I had, I 
suppose, covered about half the distance, when I happened to 

2 1 o The Undoing of Jevons. 

look behind me. The sight I saw will haunt me to my dying 
day. There, at the other end of the meadow I had just 
traversed, was an infuriated bull with his head to the ground in 
. hot chase, whilst I, attired in a bright-red sail, was apparently 
the quarry. Throughout my life I have been mortally afraid of 
bulls, or even cows, for that matter, and the sight of that brute 
storming after me struck terror into my heart. One glance at 
the businesslike appearance of his horns and I stood not on the 
order of my going. I had a long start, and ran as hard as I 
could lay foot to ground, but the brute gained rapidly. It was 
obviously the sail with which my loins were girt that infuriated 
the animal, for it was fashioned of similar material to the sails of 
the Solent " redwings." Should I sacrifice my impromptu toga ? 
No, my native modesty forbade any such proceeding — I would 
run to the last. On I sped, almost blind and with my breath 
coming in painful gasps. Whither I was going I knew not, and 
cared less ; all I wanted was to get away from that awful bull 
which, to my distorted imagination, loomed as large as St. Paul's 
Cathedral. I dashed through a gap in the hedge and, ere I 
realised it, was in the churchyard right in the midst of the 
wedding party. Did ever bridegroom make such a sensational 
appearance at a wedding before ? With a cry of horror I leaft 
into the first carnage I came to, shouting to the driver to take 
me to the hotel. 

* The whole village had assembled outside the church to see 
the bride and bridegroom come out after the ceremony, and I 
shall never forget the roar of laughter that followed me as 1 
drove up the road. As the carriage drew up at the hotel I 
leaped out, and running upstairs, dashed into the first bedroom 
I came to, then I rang for the ** boots " and sent him in search of 
my portmanteau. Oh, what joy to be dressed in the garb of 
civilisation again. My confidence returned to me, and I began 
to piece events together in their regular sequence. The result 
of my cogitations was not, however, very satisfactory, for I 
discovered that it was after three o'clock when I made my 
unseemly appearance at the church, and my bride and the 
wedding guests were just coming away, as it was then too late 
for the ceremony to take place. 

* Of course I called on Mrs. Mainwaring at once to apologise 
and give her the explanation that was her due, but she declined 
to see me. Time after time I called with like result, and so 
then I wrote, giving a full account of my misfortunes. At last 

The Ghost of the G" Callaglian. 211 

I received a reply couched in the coldest of language and written 
in the third person : " Mrs. Mainwaring has received Mr. Jevons' 
explanation of his recent extraordinary conduct, but is of the 
opinion that the fact of Mr. Jevons having gone sailing on such 
a day is sufficient evidence that he has no real regard for her, 
and under the circumstances Mrs. Mainwaring does not think 
it desirable to renew her acquaintance with Mr. Jevons." 

' And that/ concluded Jevons, * is why you find me still a 
bachelor, and likely to continue in that state until the end of the 

By Miss Lilian Bland. 

|[HE smooth gliding surface of the water was broken by a 
swirl. The Widening circles of ripples under the shade 
of a dipping bough showed me the favourite haunt 
of some speckled beauty, and, keeping well out of 
sight, 1 crept warily forward to get a glimpse of him. Soon the 
petal of a May-flower, like some fairy yacht came sailing down 
stream towards his lair, and, as I expected, Mr. Trout lazily rose 
to investigate. He gave a soft gurgle of disdain and turned to 
retreat, but catching sight of me he was off" up-stream like a 
streak of silver, disappearing under a sheet of water crowfoot. 

The river was of a transparent clearness, and for a while I 
watched the brownies from the shade of the trees, lying almost 
ffnotionless with gently quivering fins in the cool, deep pools. A 
ieeling of supreme laziness overcame me, the trout were not 
feeding, why toil in vain } I placed my rod in safety, and rolled 
over in the sweet-smelling grass and lit a cigarette. 

All the week I had been horse-* coping,* searching for animals 
that eventually, with luck, might turn into hunters, and my 
<juest had landed me in the town of Closheen. The fact of 
having some spare time, combined with the eloquence of the 
local poacher on the merits of the trout in the river, had 
•decided me to laze and fish for a day or two. My friend Larry 
lent me a rod and some weird home-made flies, assuring me 
that if I did them justice, * 'twas the ass-cart itself I would be 
after lookin' for to haul the fish.' But as I basked in the sun- 
shine, Larry and the ass troubled me not, the Golden Vale of 

212 The Ghost of the OCallaghan. 

Tipperary held me entranced in a dream of colour. Majestic 
pillars of cumulus, warm-tinted with gold, rolled onward over 
Slievenaman, the slowly gliding shadows deepening into rich 
purple, where they swept over the red bogland. Here and 
there across the emerald vale gleamed crowns of gold, where the 
snug gorse coverts dotted the hillsides, the scene of many a 
good hunt with the gallant * Tipps.' Beyond the river the yellow 
iris spread a soft sheet of pale gold, and the river reflected the 
snow-laden boughs of the May-trees. A pair of moorhens were 
very busy paddling in the reeds with much jerking of tails and 
soft talk. A water-rat sat up on a lily pad and crammed some 
succulent morsel into his mouth with both * hands,' making a 
delightfully crisp sound as he nibbled it, and having cleaned 
himself in a hurry, dived silently into the reeds. 

What can be more delightfully drowsy than the song of the 
river ? At first one only hears the movement cf the full chorus, a 
stately droning murmur ; then one becomes conscious of many 
little voices : some ripple with laughter over the shallows, others 
are shrilly scolding the pebbles, while voices are chuckling and 
gurgling in and out of holes and corners. But the river rushes 
on to glide peacefully in smooth glossy curves over the moss- 
covered rocks into deeper pools where it swirls and eddies^ 
making the water rise and fall with a gentle splash under the 
banks, where flakes of white froth float idly round in the wash of 
the backwater, until they circle once more into the arms of the 
current and are hurried onwards towards the sea 

A slender blue spiral of smoke curled upwards from my 
cigarette, gently swaying like some diaphanous water-nymph 
to the music of the stream, while the shadows cast deep velvet 
streaks across the grass, before I bestirred myself to explore 
further down-stream. 

Round the bend of the river, I climbed a dilapidated demesne 
wall, and became aware of an old castle built on the solid rock, 
towering above me. There was, however, no sign of life ; the 
blank staring windows seemed like sightless eyes, and from the 
absolute neglect of the grounds, I imagined the place to be unin- 
habited and walked up a rough track to explore. A terrace ran 
round two sides of the castle from which one had a lovely view 
of the river winding away to the distant hills ; on the land side an 
archway led into a courtyard of tumble-down stables and a 
ruined belfry ; ferns grew in every chink, and the atmosphere was 
damp and chilly as a vault. The place had a desolate, haunted 

The Ghost of the O Callaghan. 2 1 3 

look ; I began to imagine that eyes were peering at me through 
the half-closed shutters, and turned hurriedly to leave for the 
fresh air and sunshine beyond, when I nearly fell over what 
appeared to be a bundle of rags on the steps. At my excia* 
mation the rags moved, something slowly uncurled itself into the 
form of an old woman ; from the yellow mask of her face, a pair 
of wild eyes met mine, and not a little startled I gave her * a soft 
day,' and, pointing to my rod, explained that 1 was fishing the 
river. A most unearthly cackle greeted this information, and 
nodding her head she said, * Och^ aye, there's ithers fishin* at the 
wather beyant' This she kept on repeating in a sing-song wail,, 
and took no further notice of the questions I asked, so I left her 
and went to see who was fishing the pool besides myself But 
the river was deserted except for the brown trout, who were 
beginning to rise in a fashion that meant business, and in the 
next twenty minutes I had landed four good trout and a few 
sprats, and had just risen what might have been a * whale,' when I 
heard the whirr and screech of a reel with the line running out. 
A fish seemed to be putting up a good fight with some one, and 
thinking that I might be of use, I walked on to the bend from 
whence the sound came, and which had now as suddenly ceased,^ 
but there was no sign of any one. Completely puzzled, I was 
turning back, when whirr, whirr, went the reel again, this time 
apparently from the pool I had just left. Then the reel seemed 
to be screeching from another quarter just like a corncrake, and 
I came to the conclusion that the rock behind had some peculiar 
power of echoing sounds from a distance. It was getting dusk, 
and as I had some way to walk back, I put up my rod. Under 
the shade of the giant beech-trees it was almost dark, and. as I 
walked briskly along, something seemed to be keeping pace with 
me, flitting from tree to tree. It required all my courage to turn 
my head and stare at the trees, the dead leaves rustled behind 
me, and suddenly a rabbit jumped out of the undergrowth across 
my path. Of the two I do not know which was the more alarmed, 
but I will confess it now, I bolted, slipping and sliding on the 
moss-grown path, the branches slashing my face. I ran like one 
possessed from something — I did not know what — which terrified 
me ; and only breathed freely once more when I had cleared the 
wall and got out into the open fields. On my way back to the 
inn I had plenty of time to call myself names, for if one behaves 
like a frightened puppy, one loses a certain amount of self- 
respect, and by the time I saw the lights of Closheen, I had made 

214 ^'^ Ghost of the O'Callaghan. 

a vow to return and fish those pools, to the tune of a hundred 
ghostly reels if necessary. 

Larry was in company with other * comer boys ' helping to 
support the solitary lamp-post, his chief occupation when not 
away poaching, and on seeing me he slouched forward to inspect 
the basket, at which he grunted disdainfully. When I casually 
mentioned the pools below the castle, a momentary flash of 
intelligence lit up his usually immovable countenance. * Ah'm 
thinkinV said Larry, * ye must be a powerful poor hand with the 
rod. Thim pools is the best on the wather, and *tis only a 
foreigner that would go nigh them.' With this encouraging re- 
mark, he returned to his post, and I sought my landlady and tea. 

To cut a long story short, I extracted, not without difficulty, 
the history of the Castle, and the old woman I had found in 

For many generations the place had belonged to the O'Cal- 
Jaghans, but, like many of the old families in my distressful 
country, drink and gambling had slowly brought them to ruin ; 
and the last of the 0*Callaghans had not improved matters. In 
the language of my landlady, * he was the deviFs own son for 
iniquity.' One of his amusements seems to have been shooting 
anybody going along the river ; and he once shot an old lady 
who was gathering sticks, ' but the grand wake he gave her was 
consolin' entoirely to the falins of her relations, for indade they 
were expectin' her to die on thim at ony time.' But what con- 
cerns this history is that amongst his numerous misdeeds, he had 
stolen the heart of Catherine Maher, the acknowledged beauty 
of the country-side, * and she the promised wife of Pat Flan- 
nigan, a farmer who was willing to take her for the price of a 
cow for the sake of her pretty face ; more shame to the 

The Mahers had a small cabin on the hill, and the lovely 
Catherine used to fetch her pails of water from the Castle pool, 
and no doubt the O'Callaghan on these occasions left his gun 
behind him, and adopted Cupid's methods of warfare. No one 
will ever know what happened, but one day Closheen became 
aware of the fact that the O'Callaghan was missing, Catherine a 
' demented crathur,' and Pat Flannigan off to America. In the 
casual way of the South, they searched for the missing man. 
The river was dragged without result. No one doubted that 
there had been foul play ; but after awhile the excitement sub- 
-sideJ, and only Catherine remained, for ever wandering up and 

Tlie Ghost of the OCallaghan. 2 1 5 

down the river- banks — a mad woman searching for her lover. 
Who would have thought that the hideous bundle of rags I had 
met was once a lovely girl ! And, of course, the place was 
haunted ; none of the country people would go near the Castle. 
There were weird tales of a ghostly fisherman, and the screech 
of a ghostly reel, when ^the O'Callaghan was on the water. 

But in spite of ghost stories, one can feel very brave in the 
warm sunshine of a summer's afternoon, and I went off to the 
Castle with every intention of making good use of Larry's tackle 
and an unfished stretch of river. 

It seemed an ideal fishing day — a soft breeze rippled the 
surface, and the trees cast deep shadows across the stream, but 
for some reason the trout would not look at Larry's selection of 
flies ; but I fished up-stream diligently until I came to the pool. 
No ghostly fisherman was there to disturb me, and at the third 
cast — swirl ! — I was into a big fish. For a few breathless 
moments I played his frantic rushes successfully, then, alas ! he 
made a dash straight towards me, under the bank. A second of 
horrible suspense. If he was still on, he was sulking a dead 
weight at the bottom, and nothing I could do would stir him ; 
but I realised all too soon that the wily beggar had fouled the 
line in something and departed. After the first shock of dis- 
appointment, I bethought me of Larry's tackle, and lying flat on 
the bank I ran my hand down the line, and pulled cautiously. 
Gradually the weight seemed to nmve, and I hauled the line in 
slowly, with my face close to the water. Something pale was 
shimmering far below me, and slowly it came up nearer and 
nearer. I found myself gazing transfixed with horror into the 
eyeless sockets of a grinning skull swaying up towards me 
through the water. At the same moment I felt the line snatched 
out of my hands ; and as I threw myself backwards with a yell 
of terror, I saw old Catherine, who must have crept up behind 
me, peering into the water with eager eyes from which all trace 
of madness had vanished. Before I could regain my scattered 
senses, she had hauled * it ' out with a splash. I dared not look. 
Was she going to kiss and fondle the skull of her dead lover ? 

An unearthly cackle broke the silence : * Well, milady, if ye 
are no good at catchin' the trouts, it's the blessed day I've seen. 
Shure me old tin kettle went back on me afther I was getting 
the tay wather, and I never seen sight of her sence, till yer 
honour fished her up ! The saints presarve us ! What ails ye 
at all, at all!' 


( 2i6 ) 


{Hints to Young Sportsmen,) 

By F. G. L. 

iQME, listen, all ye sportsmen bold, 
To what I have to tell; 
It's nothing new — the story's old — 
The theme you know quite well. 

And yet it brings perennial joy 

To all who love the chase — 
The old man feels once more a boy, 

And smiles light up his face. 

The young man scans his narrow purse 

And longs for endless cash — 
* It may just do ! It might be worse ! 

At least I'll have a dash ! ' 

As once again the autumn mists 

Rise from the sodden ground. 
You read anew the Fixture Lists: 

November has come round ! 

The opening meet— ah, welcome sound ! 

When breaks to-morrow's mom 
We'll watch, with rapture, eager hound 

Fly to the huntsman's horn. 

So let not summer months go by. 

But overhaul your kit: 
Perchance you'll find your last year's tie 

Is all too tight a fit. 

Nor let the too seductive port 
Pass round, when you have fed, 

Just once more often than it ought — 
Go early to your bed. 

Then rise in time, and don your best — 

The new pink coat and tops — 
The many-coloured hunting vest 

Beloved of hosiers' shops. 

The Opening Meet. 2 1 7 

At breakfast make a hearty meal — 

No chicken food or slops — 
A sandwich doesn't make you feel 

As if you'd lunched on chops ! 

Just half-past. ten ! Your hunter stands 

All ready at the door; 
Turned out quite fit by willing hands, 

Could mortal man want more? 

Six miles an hour — through bridle ways — 

Will land you at *The Park.' 
Leave * schooling' for non-hunting days, 

Above all — do not Mark.* 

Don't ride upon the croquet lawn 

That spreads before the house, 
Or else you'll earn the master's scorn 

And give him cause to * grouse'! 

And here he comes — a gallant sight — 

Surrounded by his pack. 
No man can say they don't look right, 

Or good condition lack. 

A kindly word to every one, 

A hearty smile for all ; 
From belted Earl to farmer's son. 

They love him, great and small. 

And what a sort his pony looks. 

With shoulders sloping back — 
The kind that Aiken drew in books — 

The picture of a hack. 

Now go inside and have a drink, 

A short and cheery chat; 
You must not let the Squire think 

His breakfast's falling flat. 

The farmers all are there in force, 

Discussing this year's hay. 
And very hungry too, of course — 

They're up at break of day. 

The local tailor leaves his shop, 

The broker leaves the bourse. 
And, grasping tight his priceless crop, 

He mounts his priceless horse. 

2 1 8 TAe Opening Meet. 

The Squire's daughter, too, is there^ 
And small boy — lucky chap t — 

A velvet ribbon ties her hair^ 
He wears a velvet cap. 

Their healthy little faces show 
The hidden joy within — 

They watch the people come and go^ 
Quite anxious to begin. 

And, as the wood fire's ruddy glare 
Lights up the ancient walls, 

The Master rises from his chair, 
'Midst oft-repeated calls. 

' Here's to the ancient sport of kings t 
May't always be our fate 

To hunt a fox that never rings, 

But makes his point quite straight V 

And so the speeches quickly flow 

Until it's time to start: 
The huntsman, pacing to and fro, 

Is eager for a dart. 

Through seas of mud, across the vale,. 

What though the fence be high? 
He's always riding at their tail. 

Watching his darlings fly. 

And now at last, *To horse, to horse!* 
Come, mount and don't delay — 

He will not linger in the gorse, 
By jingo ! He's away ! 

To some it brings ecstatic thrills — 

Pleasure almost divine; 
To others nought but fearsome chills, 

Cold shivers down the spine. 

* Huic for'ard on ! ' Sit down and ride y 
Hark to the frantic hounds; 

Put every earthly care aside. 
Oh, joy that knows no bounds 1 

Go carefully at first, and see 
Your horse is in his stride. 

Beyond the fence there well may be 
A ditch both blind and wide. 

The Opening Meet. 2 1 9 

There's room in front for all, you'll find, 

So watch the leading hound; 
Don't cast defiant eyes behind 

To see whom you can pound. 

And when the first few fields you're through, 

Where are the babblers now? 
One lost his hat — one lost a shoe — 

A poor excuse, I trow! 

Get for'ard on ! Don't stop to lt)ok — 

The fences now come thick — 
And yonder winds the tortuous brook, 

So put him at it quick. 

It's very wide — the banks are full, 

A bumper to the top : 
Sit tight and take a steady pull. 

Don't use arms, heels, and crop. 

Pick out your place beside a tree. 

See if hounds jump across, 
And if you're in — well, don't blame me 1 

111 try and catch your horse. 

We're over well, without a fall, 

Almost alone with hounds, 
A single sheet would cover all — 

How sweet the music sounds! 

They're running now from scent to view, 

Then *Huic to Bonny Lass!' 
They caught him in a field or two 

And rolled him on the grass ! 

Long may it live— the old, old sport — 

The game I love so well; 
Here's to it in a glass of port, 

And now, my friends, * Farewell ! * 



By G. H. Jalland. 

J HAD been away most of the summer, and the morning 
after my return — it was nearly the end of September 
— I made it my business directly after breakfast to 
walk across the fields and look up my greatest chum 
and nearest neighbour, * Jimmy * Dalton. It was some five years 
since Jimmy had taken up his residence in our country. He and I 
had been friends from the first, for we were both ardent devotees of 
the* noble animal,' besides having many other things in common. 
He came originally entirely for the hunting, but after winning the 
hunt cup and three or four other races at hunt meetings in the 
vicinity, with horses trained and ridden by himself, he became 
bitten with the chasing mania, and his modest hunting stud had 
gradually developed into a dozen or more useful blood ones^ 
good enough to win at big meetings, and they did it with com- 
forting regularity too. Jimmy lived amongst his horses, and no 
one expended more care on their children than my friend w ith 
his string of Meppers.* He thoroughly deserved his success 
with his hobby, and there were but few grumblers when, at our 
last hunt meeting, four out of the five races on the card fell . to 
his stable. For his horses were all hunters first and chasers 
afterwards, and if he got an animal that proved itself incapable of 
combining the two arts, somebody else soon owned it. A better 
man over a country could not be found, and on those occa- 
sional days when hounds really raced, the * thruster ' was difficult 
to meet with who could keep his place in front of Jimmy. He 
scaled a nice weight, about 9 st 7 lbs., and it was evident he 
possessed that most rare of rare gifts — good hands. I believe 
his horses more than paid their way, though their owner was 
one of those fortunate individuals born with a very nice-sized 
silver spoon in their mouths, which moreover he had the good 
sense to retain from the melting-pot. Gorthorn Grange, the 
place he rented, lay — by a short cut— about half a mile from my 
house. It was a charming old-fashioned spot, with panelled 
rooms and quaint windows ; but best of all in Jimmy's eyes 
were the outbuildings, which he had converted into a lot of ex- 
cellent roomy boxes. Here my friend lived almost the whole 
year round, as contented and happy a man as could be found. 

A Summer by the Sea, 221 

I had crossed the fields, and was walking up the short drive 
to his door, when I heard my name called, and on turning my 
head I saw my friend down in the garden, laid out on a sofa, 
sunning himself I did not ever remember having previously 
seen him thus taking his ease during the morning hours : he was 
always far too busy amongst his horses for anything of that 
sort, and this struck me at once as being an odd thing. Then, 
as I drew nearer, I noticed he looked decidedly off-colour : he 
made no attempt to rise. The poor chap must be ill, and 
I had heard nothing of it, having been away. * Hallo, old 
man ! ' I exclaimed. * What's amiss } You look jolly bad ! ' 
In answer he grinned, and drew up the rug covering his legs, 
and I saw his left limb was in splints. ' Broken again ! Poor 
chap, what hard luck ! ' I said ; for when I had last seen him, 
some four months previously, he was only then recovering from 
a similar injury, achieved on the very last day of the late chasing 
season. * You silly old beggar,' I went on, * why can't you wait 
till the falling is a bit softer before you begin schooling your 
champions over the course.' 

Jimmy grinned again. * This wasn't done over a fence, old 
chap,' he replied, * it happened by the " sad sea waves," and they 
looked like being precious sad for me, too, at the time. But, 
there, I may as well tell you the tale at once, and get it over ; 
so fetch yourself a chair. You'll find one in the summer-house. 
There are plenty of cigarettes in this box.' 

Then, after I had settled down, my friend thus delivered 
himself: — 

* Being anxious to have some horses fit to gallop by the 
opening of the season, and not wanting to crock-up half my 
stud on the sun-baked going on at home, it occurred to me 
that it would be a good plan to migrate to the seashore during 
the continuance of the heat and drought. I had often heard 
the going was always passable there, and of the beneficial effect 
of sea-water on legs inclined to be dicky. So I took a trip to 
the east coast, and after three days spent in exploring that 
Dutch-like stretch of country lying to the south of the Humber 
mouth— every inch of it reclaimed from the sea — I arranged 
terms with a farmer, whose house adjoined the sea-banks, and 
who possessed a number of cowsheds and other buildings empty 
at this time of year, that made capital stables. You've never 
been in that part of the world ? Well, you have no idea what 
an extraordinary country it is. " The Marsh," as it is known, 

222 A Summer by the Sea. 

consists of thousands of acres — mile after mile — of land extra- 
ordinarily fertile, but flat as a billiard-table— -a dreary expanse 
of deadly dulness, right away to the far-distant wolds. It is 
intersected, at regular intervals, by the drainage dykes ; the few 
cottages and farms dotted about its surface only serve to em- 
phasise the monotony of the apparently endless plain. 

* However, there is evidence from the cultivated ground of a 
certain amount of life on this, the land side of the protecting 
sea-banks, which rear their rugged wind-blown heights in broken 
contours along many miles of our eastern coasts. But to the 
seaward of these banks the utter loneliness and desolation of 
the immense stretch of tide-swept sandy flats impresses one as 
a veritable country of the dead. You can't think what it is like, 
or how it grows on you, till you have seen it. But when I tell 
you I have repeatedly spent practically the whole day on this 
desert, and seen no living thing save an occasional gull, and 
further that at low water the tide recedes so great a distance 
that you can barely discern the ocean on the horizon through 
the shimmering haze of the drying sands, you will imagine I 
had not selected my quarters with the idea of spending a lively 
summer. But it was an ideal place for the horses. They had 
their leg-baths regularly every day ; frightened by the moving 
waves at first, they soon took such delight in the paddling that 
old " Buckskin " used to make quite a fuss when the order for 
home was given. And the galloping-ground was excellent, firm 
without being too hard if you took care to ride along the margin 
of the retreating tide. Then the health-giving air ! It got into 
your blood ; it made you feel a boy again ; it was delightful ! 
The only real drawback to the place was the danger from the 
clay subsoil. It cropped through the sand in some places at 
frequent intervals ; but this, of course, was easily seen and 
avoided. Where the danger lay was of a horse breaking 
through the apparently solid sand to the soft clay beneath, and, 
before we learnt which was safe ground, my lads had several 
nasty falls. When a horse is galloping, it lets him down to the 
depth of a foot or more, an almost certain crumpler. I have to 
thank this peculiarity for my smashed shin-bone, but at the 
same time I thank my stars I got off" so cheaply. 

* I had been down there about a month, and was delighted 
to see the immense improvement my horses were making — ^you 
must inspect my leg-cures before you go back. I simply lived 
out of doors, riding and bathing ; it was impossible to have too 


iV >ai 



It i 



iV ... 



A Summer by the Sea. 223 

much of that glorious air. Great fun, too, was the crabbing 
amongst the " clays " exposed by the " neap " tides, and many 
were the baskets of shrimps I secured with the farmer's " push- 
net." My trip promised to turn out a big success, but it ended 
somewhat disastrously. Of course you remember that horse, the 
Elk — he won six races last season — a perfect glutton to eat and 
work, he never could get enough of either to satisfy him. Well, 
one morning, after the string had finished their work — I was 
riding this horse — it occurred to me, as he felt so thick and fat 
under me, it would be a good thing to make the rascal miss his 
dinner for once, and ride him a long trail to the little seaside 
resort of Gullsnest, situated some ten or twelve miles down the 
coast. So I sent the lads home, and, to the evident disgust of 
my mount, I set him going at a steady hound-trot for my 
distant point. The tide was going down at the time, and 
the further I went the wider grew the expanse of the uncovering 
sand-flats. It was a brilliant sunny day, probably stifling and 
unbearable inland, but there by the sea delightfully cool and 
bracing. Mile after mile we kept up the steady jog, and during 
the long ride I passed but three human beings, and these at 
long intervals : two were ancient shrimpers in their carts, with 
their trawl-nets trailing behind ; the third was a weather-beaten 
crone, who, at a shingly point, was busily engaged in searching 
amongst the pebbles for small pieces of coal, which she ex- 
plained to me were brought up by the tide from a collier 
wrecked off" the coast when she was a child. I also saw a 
number of curious mirages in the dancing haze that rose from 
the damp distances ; one of a herd of grazing cattle — they were 
upside down, and looked most absurd. 

*0n reaching Gullsnest I called at the hotel for a drink. 
The Elk had one too, and after making a few small purchases 
in the village, I turned on to the shore again for home. It was 
then about half-past two, and the tide was at its lowest ebb. 
With his head turned for home, and feeling the want of his 
mid-day feed, my mount set to work to prove he could make 
himself just as uncomfortable a hack as he had previously been a 
delightful one. When I wanted him to walk he wished to jog, 
and when I allowed him to jog he wanted to canter. He 
reached and yawed at his bridle, making me so hot and un- 
comfortable that, after enduring him for a couple of miles, 
and seeing a splendid stretch of level sand ahead, free from 
signs of clay or trickling creeks, I said, " Well, go on, you 

224 ^ Summer by the Sea. 

old brute, and be hanged to you !" and loosed him into a sharp 
canter. This was just what he desired, and he bounded away,, 
shortening the distance from his manger at every stride. I had 
only a plain snaffle, and I never knew the horse to catch hold 
before, except when he was racing; but when I asked him 
to slow down after about six furlongs, he simply put his head 
out and bolted. I tried every dodge to regain control, but to 
no purpose ; he pounded along at the top of his speed, and for 
all the impression I could make on his mouth, I might have been 
hauling at the side of a house. We are poor weak things, 
we men, if a horse really exposes his marvellous strength. I 
found I could steer him fairly well with the aid of my stick, but 
you can imagine I was not relishing this mad gallop over 
ground that I knew to be most treacherous. However, my 
tracks of the morning were quite distinct, and I hoped by 
keeping him along these I should be fairly safe. 

* We were about half-way home when the thing happened. 
The going looked perfectly firm and solid, not a sign of clays 
anywhere about. We were exactly following my outward spoor^ 
which was visible on the smooth shore as far as the eye could 
travel, when suddenly I felt him break through ; his grand 
shoulders saved him at first — mind, he was at top speed — 
but again and again the sand gave way, and down we came 
with an awful thud. He pitched sideways, unfortunately 
pinning my leg beneath him, and we ploughed a furrow through 
the solid sand like that left by a giant plough. The horse 
immediately made violent but ineffectual efforts to regain his 
legs, fixing my imprisoned limb more firmly, and causing me 
the most frantic agony. I knsw from the first it was smashed, 
for I felt it was horribly twisted, and that sickening sensation, 
the grating of the bone, could only mean one thing. Soon the 
Elk gave up his struggles to rise, and lay still, breathing^ 
heavily. I concluded that, like myself, he had got the wind 
knocked out of him, and only wanted rest for a few minutes. 
So I let him alone, and bore the pain in my leg as best I could* 
Then, after a short interval, I smacked his neck with an " Up you 
get, old man ! " He made effort after effort, thumping my poor 
leg till I could have yelled, but they ended in nothing but 
groans ; he simply couldn't rise. Just then I caught sight of 
his fore-legs ; they were both extended, and, to my horror, I 
found I was gazing at the insides of the fore-feet. Half-way 
between the knees and the fetlocks his shins had snapped like 

A Summer by the Sea. 225 

carrots, and the poor distorted parts were only held by the skin 
and tendons. With ever-growing dismay, I began to realise the 
awful predicament in which I had so suddenly been placed. 
Just imagine it, old chap. Where we lay the tide leaves a 
desert of sand some three miles wide ; our position was about 
midway between the sand-hills and low-water mark. The tide 
was coming in, and part of its journey is accomplished as fast as 
a man walks. There was no hope of the wretched horse, un- 
assisted, being able to get off my leg, which, even had it been a 
sound one, I could never have released, so firmly was it held ; 
as it was, the slightest effort in this direction caused such excru- 
ciating agony that I soon desisted, and, like my companion in 
misery, lay still. I calculated the water would reach us in 
about an hour, and, unless help arrived during that interval, my 
fate was booked. 

* I craned my eyes up and down the shore and along the 
nigged banks, but not a living creature was in sight, and I knew 
the probabilities were great against anybody discovering my 
unenviable plight. A few passing gulls altered their course to 
inspect us, and, with a squeak of comment, flapped away. I 
was lying with my back to the sea, and you can imagine I felt 
pretty bad when I craned my neck round and looked. But 
from my low position, owing to there being a slight rise or bar 
in the sand— imperceptible when on horseback — about 500 yards 
distant, the oncoming horror was for the time hidden. But 1 
knew it was there all the same, and that every second it was 
coming nearer, slowly but surely. It gave me the "jumps,** 
this not being able to see the advancing tide, and I shouted 
again and again for help, though I knew at the time my voice 
could never carry over the sand-hills in the face of the strong 
land-breeze that was blowing. The minutes seemed like hours, 
and my neck grew stiff with the repeated twists I gave it, search- 
ing for the first sign of the noiseless, incoming flood. I don't 
think I lost my head, I hope not ; but all the same, I was in the 
bluest of blue funks. It seemed hopeless ; the only chance was 
the remote possibility of some one turning up in time ; but I 
knew there could be no earthly reason why any of the scattered 
farming population, then busy in the harvest-fields, should be 
visiting this lonely shore. I shouted till my voice was a whisper. 
I seemed to be lying there for an eternity. The Elk lay still, 
occasionally groaning in his pain ; poor beast ! his racing days 
were over, and, for matter of that, mine were too, I thought. 

226 A Summer by the Sea. 

unless something unforeseen happened. Again, with anxious 
eyes, I scanned the rise behind, and even as I looked the white 
edge of the leading ripple flashed along the bar, disappearing as 
suddenly as it came. Then there was an awful wait. Fasci- 
nated, I kept my eyes in the direction. Again it appeared and 
vanished ; for the third time this happened, then a wave stouter 
than its predecessors captured the bar. For the blinking of an 
eyelid it hung, poised like the contents of an overfilled glass, 
and then, with uneven edge of gleaming froth, it crawled for a 
little space down the incline, leaving the conquered sand wet 
and glistening in its wake. 

* The beginning of the end, I thought. But I could not take 
my eyes away. It was horrible, this slow waiting, and I recollect 
actually feeling annoyed with the feebleness displayed by several 
succeeding wavelets that failed to better their leader across the 
sand. But this was not for long ; soon each as it appeared came 
flooding over with increased strength, the creamy edge devouring 
the distance between us at every effort 

' " Well, it's U.P., Jimmy, my boy ! " I said. It was strange, 
but the funk was leaving me, my only wish being that the tide 
would hurry up and get it over. I patted the poor doomed 
horse : he lifted his head and looked at me. Poor beast ! he 
seemed to know. I was so sorry for him — such a good, honest 
creature. I had not even a penknife to open his jugular, or I 
would have done it — drowning must be a wretched death. I 
had given up watching the water, it was so vexingly deliberate ; 
but the horror of its first chilly touch I shall never foi^et — I 
fancy I yelled. We won't prolong the agony, old man, though 
you can imagine the minutes that followed were pretty bad ones. 

' I was resting on my elbow, and soon the water had risen 
half-way to my shoulder. The Elk got a mouthful, and he 
commenced to struggle. Poor beast, how he fought for his life, 
smothering me with his splashings. Then an extra stout wave 
gave me a mouthful, and I began to struggle too. To my 
astonishment and huge joy I found at once my numbed leg was 
no longer a fixture, and that I was able with little difficulty to 
draw it from its prison. I had little thought the water I so 
dreaded would in reality prove my salvation. For this it proved 
as the hitherto firm sand became loosened and softened by 
its action, and doubtless the struggles of the poor horse helped 
in the process. My leg was lying in a hollow, almost loosely, 
and I was not slow in floundering away from the drowning 

'.'■"••IVf, \ 

Notes on Novelties. 227 

animal ; but even then my troubles were by no means ended^ 
for what wjth the pain and worry I had gone through, there was 
not much strength left in me. Fortunately I am a swimmer,, 
otherwise I don't suppose I should be here now, for though the 
rapidly deepening water would not have reached to my waist 
had I been able to stand, it was quite deep enough to have 
drowned me on hands and knees. I shan't soon forget that one- 
legged swim. I took it easily, and the tide helped me, but it 
seemed an age before I got into quite shallotv waters and was 
able to finish the journey on all fours. 

'After dragging myself just above high-water mark, I col- 
lapsed. Some two hours later I was found, still unconscious, by 
a coastguard passing along the beach, who, seeing my condition,, 
hurried to the nearest farm for assistance. I came to my senses 
as they were carrying me on a hurdle over the sand-bank. 

* I spent a month at the farm on my back. They looked 
after me splendidly, and only yesterday 1 made the journey 
home. Oh, yes. Til be all right when the lepping commences — 
at least, I hope so ; but it will be a long time before I am likely^ 
to forget my summer by the sea.' 


^T is an extraordinary' fact that up till now there has 
not been written a history of so important a race as 
the Grand National. Mr. Finch Mason has now, how- 
ever, supplied this want with his Heroes and Heroines 
of the Grand National^ a book which we have no doubt will find 
its way into every sportsman's library. Besides containing an 
account of each race from its foundation in 1839 to the present 
year, it is embellished with portraits of most of the celebrated 
winners, from Lottery to Eremon, as well as many interesting 
portraits of owners, trainers, and jockeys, and some of the 
author's own characteristic sketches. Mr. Finch Mason has 
had the good fortune to receive valuable assistance from such 
authorities as Mr. J. M. Richardson, who rode the winners 
of 1873 and 1874; Mr. 'Thomas,' the still living rider of * The 
Lamb ;' Mr. Garrett Moore, who won on his * Liberator ;' Prince 
Charles Kinsky (Zoedone's owner and rider); Lord Manners,. 

2 28 Notes on Novelties. 

Mr. Joe Cannon, Mr. E. P. Wilson, and many others whose 
personal reminiscences give an additional charm to what will 
doubtless be considered a standard work. It is published by 
the Biographical Press, who, it will be remembered, also issued 
the handsome volume on Tlu British Turf. 

Messrs. Fores, of Piccadilly, have published three new 
sporting prints which will command attention : they are Pretty 
Polly and some of her races ^ showing the peerless mare surrounded 
by sketches of some of the principal performances in her wonderful 
record — this is by John Beer, and makes a pendant to the 
same artist's drawing of Sceptre and her races ; a characteristic 
sketch of the late Baron de Robeck, by Harrington Swan, 
which admirably recalls this well-known sportsman, and will be 
appreciated by his many friends in Ireland and elsewhere ; and 
a portrait of Orby with J. Rieff up, by A. C. Havell, bringing 
the series of Derby winners up to date. 

George A. Fothergiirs Sketch Book^ published by James 
Dodds, of Darlington, of which the half-dozen parts make up an 
attractive album, will appeal with equal force to the sportsman, 
the artist, the naturalist, and the antiquarian — a combination 
not often met with, but of which the author is himself certainly 
an epitome. The illustrations, which are very numerous, are 
stamped with a character and spontaneity, evidently inspired by 
nature — human, equine, and otherwise — such as the observant 
eye and skilful hand of a true artist only can depict. Amongst 
so much of interest it is somewhat difficult and invidious to 
distinguish, but we must confess to a leaning towards those 
sketches in which the horse and his rider are treated, and it is 
in this direction that we hope to see more from the pencil of 
this versatile author and artist. 



By C. C. 

|1HE condition of the roads in England until the 
middle of the nineteenth century can only be 
partially realised in these days. A picture, graphi- 
cally correct, in representing the Palace of Whitehall 
in 1669, the year of the Grand Duke of Tuscany's tour, faith- 
fully delineates a deeply rutted road in front ; and as the author 
of the History and Progress of Great Britain remarks, it may be 
presumed to have been the best of its time on account of its 
immediate proximity to the seat of Royalty and that of 

The earliest law respecting the public roads and highways 
of the kingdom was enacted in 1285, during Edward the First's 
reign, though it had reference chiefly to the prevention of 
murders and robberies, rather than the actual improvement of 
the means of communication. The first turnpike Act was 
passed in 1663, the fifteenth year of Charles the Second's reign, 
though a toll for making and preserving the highways was levied 
as far back as Edward the Third's. 

In 1688, the news of the abdication of James II. did not 
reach the Orkney Islands, just on the north side of Scotland 
(now achievable in a few hours), until three mont/is after it had 
occurred ; while only twenty-six years before his birth, or 1653, 
the declaration of Cromwell as Protector did not reach Bridg- 
water, in Somersetshire (139 miles from London), for nineteen 

In December, 1703, Charles, Prince of Denmark, or other 
foreign grandee, slept at Petworth, the residence of the 

230 Travelling in Other Days. 

Egremont family, on his journey from Portsmouth to Windsor ; 
' and the last nine miles of the way cost us six hours/ says one 
of the suite in attendance. 

In 1742,'the Oxford stagecoach left London at seven o'clock 
in the morning, and reached Uxbridge at mid-day. It arrived 
at High Wycombe at five o'clock in the evening, when it rested 
for the night, and, proceeding at the same rate, got to its 
destination by the evening of the morrow. Macaulay names 
Beaconsfield as the termination of the first day's journey — 
he may have been alluding to some other coach ; however,, 
the respective days* journeys were about twenty-seven miles 

Mrs. Delany, in writing to Mrs. Dewes, the 14th of January, 
1754, says: *We came six in the coach, seven nosegays of 
oranges and myrtle branches, a basket, a leather satchel of 
books, and as much straw as would litter a horse/ This gives 
a very good idea of the provision made for a journey, though 
we would like to have known the contents of that basket. 

Another date for time occupied on the road. As late as 
1798, Mr. Porter, the author of The Progress of the Nation, &c.,. 
left the town of Gosport at one o'clock in the morning in the 
* Telegraph,* then considered a fast coach, and arrived at Charing 
Cross at eight in t/u evening, thus eighty miles having consumed 
nineteen hours, a tolerable day's journey, the pace being rather 
more than four miles an hour. 

At a later date yet, 1808, it appears that springs were not 
applied to coaches. The proprietors of the Shrewsbury coach 
paid, in the course of a twelvemonth, 600L for goods damaged 
by the jolting of the vehicle, and in 1809 ^^ was casually stated 
by a gentleman named Orr, in evidence before a Select Com- 
mittee of the House of Commons, that a fifty miles' journey in 
one of these conveyances utterly ruined his portmanteau through 

Formerly, beacons were erected to warn travellers by their 
lurid glare of dangerous parts along the highways. Among the 
directions in Ogilby's Guide-book may be read such as the 
following : * Pass through Stanway, and by the Beacon on the 
heath*; 'the way being by moorish ground, then at 161 ml 
6 fun, by a Beacon on the right * ; so again, ' whence through 
an arable at 89 mi. 3 fur., passing by a Beacon on the rights 
2 furlongs.' 

Among other peculiarities of the old hand-books, we may^ 

Travelling in Other Days. 231 

advert to the very frequent mention of gibbets and gallows as 
landmarks : 

* By the Gallows and three wind-mills, enter the suburbs of York,* 
^Leaving the fore-mentioned suburbs (Durham), a small ascent, 

passing between the Gallows and Croke-hilL* 

* You pass through Hare-street, &c, and at 13 mi. 4 fur. part of 
Epping Forest, with a Gallows on the left.' 

* You pass by Pen-menis Hall, and at 250 mi. 4''fur. Hill-draught 
Mill, both on the Left, and ascend a small Hill with a Gibbet on the 

* At the end of the City (Wells) you pass a Brook, and pass by 
the Gallows.' 

* At 2 mi. 3 fur., leaving the acute way on the Right to Towting, 
Ewel, &c., just at the Gallows, or place of execution of Malefactors 
convicted at Southwark. At 8 mi. 5 fur. you pass by a Gallows on the 
left, and at 10 mi. 2 fur. enter Croyden.' 

' A small rill with a bridge over it, called Felbridge, separating it 
from Surrey, whence by the Gallows you are conveyed to East 

* Leaving Peterborough you pass the Gallows on the Left.' 

* You leave Frampton, Wilberton, and Sherbeck all on the Right, 
and by a Gibbet on the Left, over a Stone Bridge.' 

* Leaving Nottingham you ascend an Hill, and pass by a Gallows.' 

* From Bristol through St. John's Gate and over Froome Bridge, 
you go up a steep ascent, leaving a Gallows on your Right' 

* You cross the River Saint, leaving the Gallows on the Left, and 
enter Carnarvon.' 

On the road from London to East Grinstead (a distance of 
twenty-six miles), it is observed in the pages from whence we 
have transcribed these quoted directions, that there were three 
gibbets upon the sides of the highway, to say nothing of the 
gibbets erected in by- lanes and secluded places upon the roads 
in neighbourhoods where crimes had been committed. 

*The great civilisers of countries are your road-makers,* 
says MacFarlane, in his book of the lives and exploits of foreign 
banditti, the sight of a new broad road seeming to produce a 
bewildering effect on an Italian robber. English bandits of the 
last and previous century certainly cared little for the broadness 
of roads, Hounslow Heath, Finchley Common, and other such 
open spots being their favourite haunts : Salisbury Plain * is 
seldom without a thief or twain,* said the old Wiltshire proverb. 
Gad's Hill, long after the exploits of Poins and Falstaff, Epping 
Forest, and Shooter's Hill, being also amongst other notorious 

22^ Travelling in Other Days. 

places for these desperate robbers to hover near. However the 
Italian bandit and the footpad of ninety years ago may have borne 
resemblance to each other, apart from stilettoes and romantic 
costumes, neither the former villain nor the latter ruffian had any 
affinity whatever with the dashing, daring, mounted highwayman 
of England. The proximity of open ground was, in combination 
with plunder, everything to him ; on his steed he had all possible 
reliance ; it was bone of his bone — we might almost say, flesh of 
his flesh ; courage, quickness, endurance, being their natural 
attributes. After his sudden attack, and seizure of purses, jewels, 
rings, and watches, he had an instant choice as to whither he 
would flee, the four points of the compass at his command, there 
being nothing worth a thought to impede the animal or its first- 
rate rider. Even equestrians, recovering from their first surprise 
on the cry of * Stand and deliver ! ' with the alternative of their 
brains being blown out, had not a chance of coming up with 
him, the furze and undulations of the ground being quite 
sufficient to conceal him and his steed from continuous view 
whether on a star-lit winter night, or one beneath the bright 
mellowed gleam of a harvest moon. Few ventured to follow — 
certainly not the occupants of those ponderous equipages of 
bygone days, nor yet their servants perched outside, or running 
at the side, or before them ; and supposing travellers on horse- 
back manifested an intention, their fate would, nine times in ten, 
have been inevitably sealed, and therefore the cost of venturing 
on the roads after dusk had to be counted over, in resignation or 
fury, by the victims, consolation being theirs on escaping with 
whole skins, or, if wounded, with their lives. The capture, we 
may add, of the most noted desperadoes was rarely effected on 
the road, treachery usually being resorted to. Marauders banded 
together, at some periods, spread terror through a county ; but 
the wary highwayman par excellence, reliant on himself alone, was 
never gregarious. He placed confidence in none of his kindred 
calling, shared danger with none, trusting to his own nerve, 
audacity, presence of mind, and resolve ; his pistol, his threat, 
his defiance, his last resource, or revenge ; his horse, his very life. 
Imitators such ever had, who soon, however, paid the penalty 
of their rashness. It was announced in one of the Gazettes that 
several persons strongly suspected of being highwaymen, but 
against whom there was not a sufficiency of evidence, would be 
paraded at Newgate in riding dresses, and their horses also 
shown, all gentlemen who had been robbed being invited to in- 

Travelling in Other Days. 233 

spect them. By this the numbers who took the road as a liveli- 
hood may be inferred ; though, doubtless, some of these were 
bullies and swaggerers, easily ridden down by the patrols or 
other myrmidons of the law, after cruel and cowardly attacks 
made by them. 

The reprobates of many an ancient and honourable family 
followed the hazardous vocation in their exigencies, and the cool 
audacity of a few of the most notorious of these gentry was 
astounding, for we find they openly frequented public places, 
coffee-houses, racecourses, &c., betting and gambling freely, 
until, by a new outrage, a specific charge could be brought 
against them, in apprehension of which they would disappear, 
until at length the day of retribution overtook them — the 
temptation of a reward, some pang of jealousy, some fit of anger, 
or maybe accident ensuring their arrest, their career terminating 
ignominiously if interest were unable to intercede successfully in 
tlieir behalf, and save their lives from forfeiture. 

So full of risk and hazard were journeys, from one cause and 
another — attacks from robbers mainly — that men about to take 
them usually made their wills, or put codicils to them, ere 
quitting home. 

At no very remote era, people used to travel on horseback, 
carrying their requirements with them in saddle-bags. Saddle- 
bags ! Well, there's nothing new under the sun. Seneca, in 
recommending habits of frugality, cites the example of Cato the 
Censor, who rode with saddle-bags for the conveyance of what- 
ever was necessary to him in travelling. For expedition, people 
rode post, which meant hiring horses and guides, which all along 
the great roads could be procured at corivenient distances. 
That travellers often lost the track may be conceived, a more 
serious matter than many may now imagine. 

In olden days some travelled on foot. Dean Swift several 
times performed the journey on foot to Holyhead. Goldsmith 
travelled on foot through a great part of the Continent. Pack- 
horses carried merchandise in parcels, packs, or * packages ; ' 
also occasionally seated between which were travellers of humble 
means, of that class, and often above that class, who subsequently 
rode behind in the eight-horsed, wide-wheeled waggons we still 
see in our mind's eye, with the veteran driver in his broad- 
brimmed hat and smock mounted on a cob or pony alongside 
the leaders of the leviathan team, their bells making merry music 
along the dusty road. The pack-horses conveyed letters ; the 


234 Travelling in Other Days, 

time for sending an epistle, say from Cumberland to London, 
and getting an answer, being left to the surmise of our readers, 
for the pack-horses only moved at a foot*s pace. 

John Cosswell, of the Charter House, endeavoured to write 
coaches down, when in 1662, or thereabouts, they were started, 
there being then six only on the road. The cry against them 
continued, great hostility being manifested atsuch an innovation. 
In one protest it was said that, taking all the grand roads in 
England, as York, Exeter, Chester, &c., there were about five 
hundred inns on each, and that these coaches would not stop at 
more than fifteen or sixteen of them, *and then, what can 
follow,' was the pathetic exclamation at the termination of this 
affecting appeal, * but that the rest be undone, and their land- 
lords lose their rents ? * 

As the long strings of pack-horses were legion, forming a 
close approach to regular caravans, the annihilation of the 
majority of the inns by the cessation of this peculiar traffic was 
not certainly without good reason conjectured. Some of the 
hostels were dens of infamy, many of very evil report, the inmates 
being confederates it was supposed of the highwaymen of all 
degrees. One of these was situated on the right of the road to 
Kensington. Others of these inns were in favourite repute, and 

* I'll now lead you,' says Piscator to Venator, * to an honest 
alehouse, where we shall find a cleanly room, lavender in the 
windows, and twenty ballads stuck against the wall.' 

The question put as to where they should meet on the 
morrow, when Piscator, Coridon, Peter, and his friend were at 
another inn on a* fishing tour, Coridon exclaims, * Let's meet 
here, for there are fresh sheets that smell of lavender, and I am 
sure we cannot expect better meat or better usage in any place.' 
* 'Tis a match ! ' cries Peter. * And so say I ! ' * And so say I ! ' 
were the responses of Piscator and Venator. 

Here and there, in a remote, sequestered nook, the old 
English alehouse of Izaak Walton's time may perhaps yet be 

In this sketch we can neither progressively trace the increase 
and improvements in coaches between 1662 and 1806, when the 
' Shrewsbury' had no springs, nor from 1808 to 1837, when they 
were numerous and admirably appointed. 

In this year, 1837, there were 3026 mail-coaches and stage- 
coaches, of this large number pne-half being connected with 

Travelling in Other Days. 235 

London. Waterhouse, of the * Swan with Two Necks/ in Lad 
Lane, kept 400 horses ; Home, of the ' Golden Cross/ Charing 
Cross, 400 ; and Eames, of the ' White Horse/ Fetter Lane, 300 ; 
and there were several other great coaching establishments, as 
the * Bull and Mouth/ * Saracen's Head/ * Belle Sauvage/ * George 
and Blue Boar/ * Bolt-in-Tun/ &c. 

In England there were 103 mail-coaches ; of these the fastest 
was the Devonport, which had the soubriquet given it of the 

* Quicksilver,' its speed being nearly half-a-mile more in the hour 
than any other ; but the Edinburgh for punctuality could not 
have been surpassed, as, running 400 miles in forty hours, it was 
so true to time that people regulated their watches by her. 

Of coaches, probably the best-appointed and fastest were 
on the Brighton road, namely, the * Times/ * Arrow,' * Age,' 

* Coronet/ * Wonder,' and * Red Rover ' — the last for choice ; 
time five hours and under for fifty-two miles, and a very hilly 
aground — heavy luggage was declined. The teams were splendid 
— some thoroughbred — blood being required in lieu of bone, and 
the driving perfect, several noblemen and gentlemen profes- 
sionally and permanently working them up and down the road. 
The best cross - country coach was the * Exquisite,' from 
Cheltenham to Exeter. 

The mails, however, attracted the greatest attention in * other 
days.' What a beautiful sight it must have been to behold them 
ready to take in the bags at the chief post-office, St Martin's- 
le-Grand, the space within the rails being filled with a whole 
bevy of them ; though the ' Peacock/ at Islington, to sec the 
majority pass, or the * White Horse Cellar/ in Piccadilly, gave 
better views of them in detail. 

Mails were rarely attacked or plundered, though carrying, 
on some occasions, treasure to a great amount. The guard was 
ever on the alert and well armed, passengers also on the look- 
out, being ready to render assistance ; but they were not totally 
•exempt, for the Harwich mail was once stopped and plundered 
of rough diamonds of immense value, a pardon being publicly 
offered to one of the robbers (we presume uncaptured) if he 
would give up some of them ! 

Those were the times, too, for travelling post, in a chariot 
with pair or carriage with four — real luggage or baggage being 
sent on by waggon, or with some of the servants by heavy 

In the celerity of monotonous motion in these times, one 

236 Travelling in Other Days. 

can enjoy none of these things. No pausing on charms now. 
Our eyes are no sooner clapped upon one object than — ^hey> 
presto ! — it disappears. Thought and contemplation are whirled 
out of us, as, whisked along, we steam and smoke and motor - 

* Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education,' saith 
Lord Bacon ; * in the elder, a part of experience.' Little educa- 
tion or experience in topographical knowledge, and things 
appertaining to it so replete with interest, along any route can 
be obtained nowadays. 

But to return to the past. How delightful in those posting- 
days must have been the distant cry of * Horses on ! ' What a 
sight the host and hostess emerging from the doorway, corpulent 
and rosy each, as the equipage or chaise rattled or rumbled up 
to the 'Crown,* * George,* 'Dolphin,' or 'Green Dragon/ 
Dragons, by the way, were usually green, and at Bamet they 
had a man so, the ' Green Man,' and a great posting-house it was. 
Far-famed was the ' Dun Cow,* at Dunchurch, the sign of the 
renowned Earl of Warwick*s ' Dun Cow,' and so was the mighty 
Marlborough posting-house. And, then, intermingled with the 
bustle and fascinating confusion of changing horses, tipping post- 
boys, readjusting coats and cloaks, &c., how blandly came the 
obliging inquiry of, * Won*t you please to 'light, ladies?' 'Be 
pleased to take anything, sir ? * — the landlady never descending 
the steps of the portal ; no, not for a duchess. 

But the space we have at our command is too limited to 
describe it all, from the gathering in clusters of the native 
population, to the entering in of the travellers, and the glorious 
sight afforded them of what the capacious larder contained for 
the hungry appetites of all-comers ; their perambulation of the 
interminable passages ; the occasional trippings at stairs in- 
geniously contrived by the architect, though not intelligible, in 
purpose, to any one else ; the glimpses of big rooms, and peeps 
at little ones, all with their names and titles painted over them,, 
so that if they went astray up any other passages they might be 
replaced again in their own ; the dead halt at the ' Duke of Albe- 
marle '—the flinging open of the creaking door of an apartment 
commensurate with the importance rather than the number of the 
party ; the creaking of the floor, in answer to the creaking of 
the door ; the awe-inspiring dimensions of the * Duke of Albe- 
marle,* and the solemn screen unfolded in the centre of the 
room — unintentionally, perhaps, yet poetically typifying the 

Stray Notes on Racing and Breeding. 237 

Guardian Angel of all within those four walls, the travellers, 
sideboard, cruet-stand, decanters, and appurtenances at large. 

In those days there was a genuine and genial hospitality to 
be found at inns, which made them often and often the home 
of the homeless ; the glad greeting and cheering smile assuring 
the wanderer that it was not merely for the chink of his coin 
that extra faggots were thrown on the blazing log, or creature 
comforts administered readily to his wants. Many such have 
felt the full force and truth of Shenstone's touching lines — 

* Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round. 
Where'er his stages may have been, 
May sigh to think he still has found 
His warmest welcome at an inn.' 


By *JOHN O'Gaunt.' 

fRITISH conservatism is a byword all over the world, 
and nowhere is it more manifest than in our sports. 
The lines upon which racing at the present time is 
conducted are certainly different from those which 
obtained in the days of (say) Queen Anne, but they are open to 
a great deal of improvement all the same. Without advocating 
as regards our racecourses, for instance, anything like the * built 
to scale ' tracks of America, I do certainly think that alterations 
could be made to advantage. Racing primarily exists to im- 
prove the thoroughbred, and every race, it follows, should be as 
true a test as possible of the merits of the various horses com- 
peting, taking into consideration the different weights carried, 
&c. I do not think, however, races should be invariably run on 
a dead level. Some horses are built to race better on uphill 
ground, others on descents ; and it is one of the charms of 
British racecourses that they afford by their diversity ample 
opportunities for these kinds of animals. What should be 
abolished as far as possible are courses with decided curves in 
them — at any rate, where the distances to be run are short. I 
need not point to specific examples, but several instances will 

238 Stray Notes on Racing and Breeding. 

spring to mind of race-tracks which for this reason are totally 
unfair as tests of merit. Races run on them are merely mediums 
for chance gambling, and the Jockey Club in licensing such 
meetings fails in its avowed purpose of encouraging the im- 
provement of the thoroughbred, and that alone. In my opinion 
a rule should be passed making it compulsory that all races of 
a mile or under should be run on straight tracks from start to 
finish. Six-furlong courses with a bend in them provide not 
races, but scrambles, and people may as well bet on the * little 
horses ' at Ostend or Monte Carlo for what opportunity skill 
furnishes in finding the winner. Form, indeed, is at a dis- 

Another thing that the Jockey Club might with advantage 
turn its attention to is the question of the weights that should be 
reasonably carried by two-year-olds. Anything over 9 st. carried 
to victory by one of the older generation of horses is spoken of 
as a fine performance, having regard to the weight carried, but 
two-year-olds winning with such weights up constitute quite a 
commonplace and pass unnoticed. We have seen such burdens 
as 10 St. carried by first-season horses, undeveloped though they 
are ; and no wonder, therefore, that so many go to pieces after 
their initial year's experience of racing. One does not need to 
cast one's memory very far back to recall numerous instances of 
youngsters which have entirely lost their form after an arduous 
struggle under a welter burden. These failures to retain form are 
put down to various causes, but are generally capable of the one 
explanation. Eight stone up to the end of June, and another 
seven pounds extra after that time, should be the most any 
youngster should be asked to carry. Of course, if the Jockey 
Club passed a rule to some such effect it would cause a lot of 
dissatisfaction, especially to the heavy-weight jockeys, who rely 
on the two-year-old races to provide them with a good deal of 
their employment. However, even this would probably tend to 
the good of the Turf, as executives of race meetings, in arranging 
their programmes, would be induced to limit the number of 
races reserved for two-year-olds; and provide more for the older 
horses instead. 

Whilst on this subject of race- programmes, why do exe- 
cutives insist on retaining events in their programmes which, 
on account of their restrictive conditions, invariably result in 
practical walk-overs for certain horses. I refer to the so-called 
Maiden Plates (which belie their name, inasmuch as they 

Stray Notes on Racing and Breeding. 239 

close so far in advance there is sure to be at least one horse in 
the field that has proved successful in the interim), and also to 
those other Plates in which the conditions impose varying 
penalties, according to the amounts which have been previously 
won. They are generally won by a Land League or a Cabin 
Boy, and therefore but little interest the general public, who like 
to see a race of some kind or other for their money. 

The conditions of all races nowadays are such that horses 
which start for them have to pay a much larger fee than those 
which do not run, and which therefore escape with the minor 
forfeits. I should like to see how a scheme worked on reverse 
lines would turn out. That is, I would fix a certain sum as 
entrance fee — the only charge for starters — while those horses 
which did not run would have to pay a bigger amount. For a 
race value 500 sovs., ten sovs. might be charged as entrance 
fee, and another five sovs. for every horse that does not run. 
This scheme would surely induce owners to do all in their power 
to get their horses to the post. Should the Pari-mutuel system 
of betting ever be established on our racecourses, and a certain 
percentage of the takings — as in France — be devoted to the 
increase of stakes, I am quite sure that this plan would work 
out better than that in force at present. A merely nominal 
entrance fee could in that case be charged — say two sovs. for a 
500/. race — and an extra fee of eight sovs. for all horses that do 
not run. The higher the value of the race, of course, the higher 
the entrance fee would be as well as the sum fixed to enable a 
horse to escape its liabilities. I rather wonder that some exe- 
cutives do not give the Pari-mutuel a trial. I do not think 
the police authorities would interfere, and if they did, well, 
the result would be a test case, that would settle once and for 
all the legality, or otherwise, of this system of betting. 

It should be — or rather, is — the duty of every executive to 
see that the convenience of the public is studied in every way.. 
The number-boards now generally in use are, some of them, 
quite inadequate in the way of conveying information. Does it 
not seem rather ridiculous that the public present on a race- 
course should not know at what prices the various horses were 
finally quoted till they have read the information in their 
favourite evening paper? It would not be difficult to come 
to an arrangement with the two leading sporting dailies, in 
whose hands the collection of the starting price returns now 
lies, to publish their quotations on the number-board immediately 

240 Stray Notes on Racing and Breeding. 

after each race. Or, better still, it might be possible to record 
on a board placed in a prominent position the varying changes 
in the betting prior to a race. The general public, then, who 
only visit a racecourse twice or thrice during the course of a 
year, would be able to tell which horses were fancied and 
which were not. This idea might be further extended to 
publishing a short description of each race on the board as well. 
I am quite sure the Press would be most happy to collaborate in 
return for the privileges exterfded to them. 

Another matter that racecourse executives would do well to 
look to is the reduction of the charges for admission. At 
present a man cannot well hope to escape with much out of a 
five-pound note for a day's racing if he docs the thing in any- 
thing like style. Travelling, refreshment, and other incidental 
expenses, Ring and Paddock fees, leave him with little change 
out of that amount. It should be possible for a racecourse 
to pay its way, even if a sovereign only were charged to cover 
all admission expenses, and probably less than that. What 
would be lost on the swings would be gained on the round- 
abouts — the swings in this case being the high charges at present 
in vogue, and the roundabouts the increased number of people 
who would go racing if things were otherwise. 

At present the racing man is considered a fit subject for 
every one's extortionate demands. His food costs him two or 
three times what it ordinarily should do, whilst he may consider 
himself a lucky fellow if he gets a conveyance to the racecourse 
and back from the station under ten shillings. Even for 
the official race-cards he is charged sixpence each, although 
they might well be given away to all who pay for admission. 
Football, with its moderate charges, draws tens of thousands of 
the local people ; no wonder racing, on the other hand, unless 
the venue is just outside the Metropolis, has to rely mainly 
on the support of the regular racegoers who make a living out of 
the sport. 

It is an interesting question to study why more good horses 
are not bfed nowadays. Most people who take the trouble to 
think about it have their own ideas on the matter — but they 
vary very greatly. Personally, I think there is a very ready 
explanation. Take private breeders, for instance : they un- 
doubtedly utilise their own stock far too much, to the exclusion 
-of outside blood. The proper order of things is inverted. 
Should a good horse come into the possession of a man, 

Odd Packs — and Facts. 24 1 

practically all his mares are sent to that animal when it goes 
to the stud, whether they are suitable in blood and formation or 
not. It is perhaps a natural inclination for an owner to wish to 
mate his mares with a stallion which he owns himself; but 
V It follows that such a method of breeding must of necessity 
be attended by haphazard results. It does not need very much 
study of the subject to prove that there are certain broad lines 
on which the majority of the best thoroughbreds have been 
produced. A breeder, therefore, with the best interests of the 
ratehorse at heart, should send his mares to the stallions re- 
spectively best adapted to produce good results from them, and 
not reserve them exclusively,- or even mainly, for his own 
horse. The interests of the latter he should also study by 
buying suitable mares from outside sources to mate with him, 
sacrificing some of those already in his possession, if necessary. 

Breeders for public sale go astray in following Fashion too 
blindly. Of course, they cannot be blamed, as their main 
purpose is to make money, and if purchasers demand stock by 
fashionable sires, they are sure to get what they require. Year 
after year the statistics published concerning the highly-priced 
yearlings sold at public auction show that the great majority 
are foredoomed to become failures, comparatively speaking, on 
the\icecourse. It is not very often a really great thorough- 
bred springs from their ranks. With fashion predominant in 
their parentage, most of them come from badly-mated pro- 
genitors, and are therefore chance horses, whilst in addition the 
evil system of fattening them up for sale works havoc with 
them when they are sent into training. They are overloaded 
with fat, and it cannot be got rid of without breaking them 


By 'Snaffle.' 

^UR excellent contemporary, Baily^ is responsible 
annually for the production of a hunting man's vade 
mecum entitled Baily's Hunting Directory, and all 
the weekly sporting papers publish, at the beginning 
of each season, lists of English, Scottish, and Irish packs, with 
particulars as full as they can, from information received, make 

242 Odd Packs — and Facts. 

them. OflThand, one might suppose that these contain informa- 
tion relating to all the packs of these islands ; but a careful 
perusal of the Directory alone will show us that this is not the 
case. In that work each Hunt Secretary details the packs 
which hunt the territories adjoining those of his own Hunt, and 
we sometimes come thus on a mention of packs which are not 
to be found in the book itself. For instance, in old days the 
Glamorganshire used to tell us that their territory was bounded 
on one side by that of the Llanharran ; and this year the 
Ystrad tell us that their territory has been much enlarged 
since the Llanharran Hunt has been given up. But the 
Llanharran was, of its kind, a regular Hunt, and the writer 
has put his legs under the late Master's mahogany, and seen his 
rough-haired pack in the open. Yet no particulars of the 
Llanharran hounds ever appeared in any of the lists I have 
above referred to. I give this as an example. Other packs 
there are which give more particulars, but little information* 
Who would infer, for instance, from the meagre information 
contained in the Hunting Directory that the Oxenholme were 
other than an ordinary pack of staghounds hunting carted deer > 
Yet the fact is that the cart is but rarely used with this pack,, 
which shows such excellent sport with red deer lying out wild 
from season to season — generally haviers — and does not disdain 
on occasion other varieties of the species, having chronicles of 
great runs with fallow and Japanese bucks. It is even on record 
that on one occasion, having, as we say in India, khubber of an 
outlying stag, they laid on to the animal, when he proved to be 
nothing more formidable than a roe. The most curious part of 
this story is that these hounds absolutely declined to run him. 

Then, again, we find every year amongst the Irish packs 
the Ballymacad Harriers. But these hounds — hunted, I think, 
but, if not, then certainly whipped in to, by an old school- 
fellow of mine — never hunt anything but fox. A somewhat 
similar remark applies to the Clare Harriers, except that they 
hunt both fox and hare. I might here remark that various Irish, 
harrier packs which I have personally hunted with never appeared 
in the lists. But one that does — and, what is more, in the list 
of beagles — are the big hounds of Scarteen, which I believe are 
now almost entirely restricted to carted deer. Harriers, and 
more especially beagles, are often ephemeral. They may be- 
started — I have been Master of such — after the lists are pub- 
lished ; and if * one-man packs,' dependent on one person's^ 

Odd Packs — and Facts. 243 

energy, money, or influence, they may cease to exist before the 
next. Such packs, therefore, never appear in any list. 

Last season should be memorable for one thing alone — the 
formation (after the lists were published) of a pack of hounds 
hunting wild deer ; and this by no means slight undertaking was 
increased — doubled, in fact — by the necessity of stocking the 
country with deer before the sport could commence. I need hardly 
say I allude to Lord Ribblesdale's pack, bringing the total of 
packs hunting wild deer in England up to a total higher than ever 
before, and, I think, a total higher than that of this season, 
because the Quantock pack has failed to survive, as a separate 
entity, its Master's assumption of command of the Devon and 

This increase of packs of hounds hunting wild deer is one 
that has long ago been foretold in Fores' s by me, and in my 
opinion it will go on. For this there are a number of causes. 
Firstly, there is the Spurious Sports Bill, long threatened, but 
probably to come at last. This will put an end to the deer-cart, 
and with it the only really humane form of hunting, I am, as I 
have often written before, no * calf-hunter, and have hardly ever 
been out with such staghounds ; but it is obvious that the end 
of a chase of this sort is very different to the despairing effort 
of a hunted wild deer, or of a beaten fox. In the latter case, if 
all do not wish to kill, the executive at least do ; in the former, 
everybody concerned has only one object — to take the deer safe, 
soimd, and well. But the shrieking sisterhood (and surely 
M.P.'s who back such Bills are only old women) are the only 
people who have their own way nowadays, and in time the Bill 
will become law. The inevitable result will be that masters of 
such packs will go about their countries asking A., B. and C. if 
they will take one, two, or four couple of deer in their woods, 
and by degrees the country will become a wild-deer-hunting one. 

Then there are the countries where the game-preserver will 
not have foxes, notably the down-countries, where partridge- 
driving is the thing. Landowners and shooting tenants have no 
objection to hounds here, as why should they ? Hounds don't 
kill partridges, but foxes do, and they will not have tlum. 
But to deer there can be no objection from them. The farmer, 
of course, must have his damages made good. 

Even the pheasant-preserver cannot object to the deer- 
hounds. In early autumn they can draw his coverts before the 
longtails are turned out ; and after Christmas, or at the worst, 


244 Odd Packs — and Facts. 

January, they can be there every day. This is the practice ot 
the New Forest deerhounds with the highly preserved woods 
north of Landford. If a good fellow, the pheasant-preserver 
must honestly admit that if the deerhounds respect his wood- 
lands for a week or two before his shoots, they can do him no 
harm by hunting the country regularly all the season. As for 
the deer, at the most they will gnaw a few young trees, for 
which he will surely not send in a bill, as his farmers will for 
their crops, and this last must be handsomely paid. 

The handwriting for the coming of such things is on the wall 
when we see Tom Smith's old pack, the Tedworth, changing 
masters season after season. 

Another cause may be found in harriers going short of their 
legitimate game, but they must use care in making a change, 
remembering that, after all, a country belongs to its masters of 
koundsstdig, and fox— and that harriers (other than those 
which a man hunts on his own estate) exist by their sufferance. 
For this reason I heard with regret that a local M.H. had 
permitted himself to express disapproval of the formation of 
Lord Ribblesdale's pack in the press. 

During the last century or two in England the chase of the 
stag has been generally, though not on Exmoor, dethroned from 
its pride of place in favour of that of the fox, principally for the 
reason that 'stag-hunting' has generally meant carted-deer 
hunting, the general opinion of which, in the last century, is 
clearly expressed in Surtees' novels. But it has only been in 
countries wh^re deer were not hunted at all that they have ever 
been destroyed at the request of a M.F.H. The last instance I 
heard of this was that of the Cumberland roedeer. These were 
the last survivors of the original English roe, as to whose 
existence I expressed doubt in my book, The Roedeer, But I 
am credibly informed that my hypothesis, that here alone might 
such a survival exist, was well-founded. They were reduced to 
half-a-dozen, and were shot off not many years ago. As I also 
mentioned in that book, the late Lord Portman had roedeer 
destroyed in his country for a like reason ; but there they were, 
of course, neither exterminated nor a survival, owing their origin 
to the Dorsetshire importations at the beginning of the last 

The question, however, which I have hinted at, as to the 
status of a pack of harriers promoting themselves, as it were, to 
the chase of wild deer, is one which may become burning, and it 

Odd Packs — and Facts. 245 

is best to say that herein the M.S.H. should move hand-in-hand 
with the M.F.H. One or two packs have so changed, not long 
ago : exempli gratid, the Barnstaple, now, I think, extinct, but in 
no case has this question really arisen. But the Committee of 
Boodles' should be ready with an answer, or will this body really 
recognise no masters but those oi foxhounds f 

A wild-deer hunting-pack now maintained in a quiet way,, 
and on a small scale, is that of Mr. Curwen, whose home in the 
island in Windermere Lake is known by sight to most people. 
The Lake District is by no means without wild deer, and the 
forests by Ullswater show the finest heads of any British wild 
red stags. But Windermere, when I knew it well in boyhood, 
had no deer. Mr. Curwen began by first stocking his woods on 
the west side of the lake with roedeer, and after an unfortunate 
experience with a consignment of Scottish roe, of which only one 
survived capture and subsequent railway journey, to die on the 
night of its arrival, he obtained sufficient from Germany, and 
these now afford capital sport to his small pack. One of these 
imported deer turned must (as we say of an elephant in India), 
and the story, as related to me by his amateur huntsman, is, I 
think, worthy of repetition. He writes to me : — 

* One of the bucks we got from Germany, and turned out at 
Windermere, had evidently been tame at some time, for last 
spring (not in the rutting season, as one would have supposed) 
he suddenly started to waylay people, women and children, as 
they passed in the lane through the wood called *The Heald,*" 
which I expect you know, and to attack them. They were country 
people, sensible and not frightened, so they beat him off all right, 
and when this was reported to us we could hardly believe it* 
However, when trippers began to arrive, the thing became more 
serious. Luckily very few trippers penetrate to the west shore of 
the lake, but some of those who did were attacked by the buck, 
and two women were knocked off bicycles, and would have been 
seriously hurt had not the buck been driven off by a man. Alt 
this time, though in the woods every day, I have never had the 
luck to meet the buck. 

* After these events we felt we must take steps, or the roedeer 
would get a bad name. So we had the road patrolled by wood- 
men, and the moment they saw the buck they came and told us 
on the island. We started off at once with our hounds, and 
laid them on where he had been seen. 

* To make a long story short, we had several long hunts after 

246 Odd Packs — and Facts. 

him, but what with getting on to other deer, and one thing and 
another, it was a week before we managed to catch him un- 
injured. We kept him in a loose-box for some time, and then, 
as the rutting season was coming on, we thought we would let 
him out to do his duty with the does. 

* He had not been out two days before another " outrage " was 
reported. So we went and hunted him ; and ran him for three 
hours. He was so dead-beat we could have killed him, but this 
we did not want to do, so whipped off. After this he was quiet 
for a week ; and then again appeared, and knocked a girl off 
a bicycle. Again we hunted him, having decided that we had 
better kill him ; but he was too clever for us, and ran us out of 
scent with doubles and twists. 

* A day or two after this he attacked a man and two women 
who were walking in the wood. The man broke the beast's fore- 
leg with his stick, though not till he had had his own clothes 
torn by the buck. As soon as we heard of this, we at once took 
the hounds, and they ran him into the lake, and killed him. 

* We were very sorry at his sad end, and wished we had killed 
him before by fair hunting. But he certainly was not safe to 
have about, and was so determined that nothing seemed to 
frighten him. He had a nice head of very thick, though not 
very long, horns.* 

I may annotate this letter, 4 la Jorrocks, by saying that I 
replied thereto that this case of an Orlando Furioso amongst 
roebucks was not unparalleled in my experience, nor did it in 
my opinion prove that the animal had ever been tame. I recol- 
lect a roebuck killing an old woman in South Germany nearly a 
score of years ago ; and in this case the offender was undoubtedly 
wild-born and reared. The buck whose fate my correspondent 
describes had been at large in these woods a couple of years 
before he, in the language of our remote ancestors, * turned bare- 

The same gentleman related another curious incident that 
occurred with these hounds. The pack, having accidentally 
charged on to a doe and fawn, first killed the latter, and then 
drove its mother down to the lake. The hunted animal gave one 
frantic bound into the waters and sank, never to rise again. At 
least, nothing could be found of it ; and it was not till two 
months later that its remains were washed up on the opposite 
shore of the lake, here a mile wide. The cause of this incident 
baffles conjecture. 

Odd Packs — and Facts. 247 

Mr. Curwen has also introduced red deer to these woods, 
but up to the time at which I write they have not been hunted. 
On summer nights they continually swim over to the island to 

Amongst draghounds there are some odd packs, but my 
experience of this form of sport is limited to the old, and long 
since defunct, Aldershot pack. The place of these has, in some 
sort, been filled by the Longmoor, whereof an old brother-officer 
of mine is Master. 

An odd, or at all events, uncommon pack is that of blood- 
hounds, of which I forget the name, whose quarry is the * clean 
boot/ Something of the sort has been done from time to time 
for many years, and there is a story of such a * cry ' in Dorset, 
who nearly got up to the object of chase, with the result that he 
— the boot-boy, I believe — bolted into a barn, and was just in 
time to slam the door in their muzzles. An old sportsman 
present opined audibly that they * richly deserved their boy/ 

Odd packs, to the southern mind, in a sense, are the fell 
packs of Cumberland and Westmorland, with which, as a boy, I 
saw some fine sport. The *coat so grey* of John Peel is the 
only wear with these foot-packs ; and is commemorated perhaps 
also by the *grey collar' of one of the regular Cumberland packs. 
Possibly it is even more so by the fact that, outside of the 
officials — I should more correctly say, except outside the 
officials — the time-honoured scarlet is there unknown. Pro- 
vincial packs differ very much in the observance of proper 
hunting costume. I have been the only man (besides Master 
and Whip) in pink at a biggish Devonshire meet ; and I have 
seen quite half of a small country field, in another country, 
almost invariably correctly turned out — landowners, doctors, 
solicitors, and even grocers — paying the Master the compliment 
of dressing themselves properly to meet him at the covert-side. 
To be wise, a malicious mind might have remarked that as he 
took no subscriptions, his field had more money to spend on 
their breeches and boots. For myself I had nothing but praise 
for a spirit rarely to be found nowadays. 

Amongst odd packs we find one only, I think, officially, of 
badger-hounds — the Axe Vale ; but badgers are hunted in many 
districts. One pack, on Exmoor, consisted of bassets, not, I 
should say from experience, quite the animals to tackle such a 
tough quarry. In their case it was a bagman. I have seen a 
pack of fox-terriers similarly used. But the proper way to 

248 A Match. 

hunt a badger is, of course, on a moonlight night. The dach- 
shund IS the hereditary badger-dog, but the English fancier has 
spoilt our animals ; and in these days of quarantine we cannot 
hope for imported blood. Therefore I think myselflucky toown 
a little pack of pure Saxon and Austrian blood, though all but 
two twelve-year-olds (still good workers) saw the light on this 
side of the Channel. 

The famous hounds of a past generation are gone with their 
quarry. Yet there are a few polecats left ; but I suppose not 
enough to warrant systematic chase. They are animals whicb 
cover immense distances at night, and the (very Strong) drag* 
should be struck at daybreak. I wonder if the Master of the 
Exmoor pack of basset-hounds I have spoken of ever tried 
this ? There must be polecats there, if anywhere. 

In odd nondescript 'packs' Scotland must bear the belL 
These are the miscellaneous gatherings of professional * tod- 
hunters ' in the hill districts ; and the mixed lots kept at scmie .. 
shooting-boxes for the purpose of hunting roe, and even in some 
places red deer, to the gun. But that word warns me I have grt 
right away from hunting, and so I must conclude. 


By Clifford Cordley. 

JOU'LL find our country very much of the rough-and- 
tumble order — the rough you will see with the naked 
eye, and the tumble, you will tumble to; for we ride, 
here, in Bankshire,* said Miss Rattlington, across the 
table, to Sir Charles Crasher. 

* Oh, indeed,' replied Crasher, rather busy negotiating nuts 
and port, both well preserved. * Well, I suppose one will have 
to take the rough with the smooth, tumbles and all, in Bank'* 
shire, as elsewhere. However, until I shake down a bit, I shall 
have to rely upon your goodness to iron out the local wrinkles 
for me.' 

Sir Charles Crasher, though quite a new star in the Bank- 
shire firmament, was already a very shining planet He had 
been settled in the district some weeks, and even during cubbing 
he had out three horses daily— a hack and two hunters — and 



A Match. 249 

as the local magnates seldom rode more than one gee per diem 
(riding their hunter to covert, and rarely indulging in the luxury 
of a second horse), he became at once a much-marked man ; 
the more especially as he was always faultlessly dressed and 
turned out, was a pretty weight, had a sweet leg for a boot* 
and, above all, shaped as though he could ride. 

In Bankshire he astonished the natives, literally. In a 
region wherein two hunters constituted the normal, four horses 
made a handsome stable, and six broke the record, the advent 
of a man with a string of sixteen set all tongues wagging and 
all eyes staring. 

What brought such a top-sawyer out of the Shires, at the 
commencement of the season, with his elderly experienced 
valet ; staid and competent stud-groom ; smart, civil, sober stable 
staff, gentleman-like second horseman, and all those hunters 
and hacks ? — * Aussi que diable venait-il faire dans cette 
galore ? ' 

Well, there were two reasons — the nominal and the actu^il. 
The first was that he had been advised to take the waters of 
Spaville, in the vale of Bankshire. To state the second, now, 
would be to give the story away. That little yarn about taking 
the waters (undergoing 'the cure') was of the *tell-it-to-the- 
marines ' order, and was spun for the edification of his lady 
mother, who may or may not have taken it as gospel. As a 
matter of fact. Sir Charles was as sound as a bell, as hard as nails 
and fit as a fiddle — in rude health, going very strong and well. 

On the evening upon which our story opens. Crasher was 
dining with Mr. Rattlington, M.F.H., and, as we have seen, 
Rosie Rattlington, the Master's only child, with whom our hero 
had become acquainted in town, was amiably introducing him 
to the woes and wonders of the country — ' over the walnuts and 

* Yes, Sir Charles,' she continued, * rough-and-tumble — banks, 
banks, banks ; nothing but banks, save by way of an occasional 
rhene, to vary the monotony. These rhenes, or dykes, are as 
deep as wells and as wide as church doors. They want crossing. 
Should you get in, there you remain ; as for your mount, with or 
without a broken back, he has to be extricated by a tow-rope 
with a team of cart-horses at the other end, don't you know.' 

* Dear me,' replied Crasher, * how charming ! Are you not 
setting your delightful territory up a little too steep. Miss 
Rattlington, with the view of choking me off?' 

250 A Match. 

Here the Master cut in, saying, * Not at all, Crasher ; not 
at all. It's a true, unvarnished tale. She's merely giving you 
fair, honest warning of what you must be prepared to encounter 
and surmount (if you can) from November to March, or later. 
What you saw to-day — your first appearance with my hounds — 
was the rare exception that proves the rule. Just round 
Rattlington Court we have the only hedges, timber, and other 
normal fences in the whole of the territory of the Hunt.' 

Crasher sat tight, however. What with his 'cure' at the 
Spa (an occasional sherry-and-bitters), what with a stud specially 
composed and designed for Bankshire, and what with another 
attraction which the district offered, he meant to see the season 
out : to hunt, at least, as many days in the week as possible, and 
to ride to the best of his ability. 

So he faced again the lady of the house, and said : * Well, 
now. Miss Rattlington, pray tell me, what are the hunting possi- 
bilities of Bankshire ? ' 

Rosie Rattlington, a very unconventional girl, brought up in 
a sporting house and atmosphere, pretty much as a male heir 
would have been, and sportswoman to the nails, exclaimed (into 
the air) : * Tantara ! Jelly dogs ! See-ho ! For'ard away ! Huic 
for'ard ! Tally-ho I Whoo-whoop ! * And then (looking the 
guest in the face) replied, * Without training, motoring, sending 
on, or even hacking far, and thereby catching neighbouring 
packs, you can hunt in the vale of Bankshire every day in the 
week — bar Sundays, of course. Daddy's hounds — our hounds — 
the B.H. — meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Satur- 
day ; and on Tuesdays and Thursdays the B.B. cover the same 

•"B. H." and *B. B."?' murmured Crasher. 

* Yes,' she added ; * the Bankshire Hounds and the Bank- 
shire Beagles ; the latter keeping up the old name, long con- 
verted into rippin', tearing, racing harriers, or twenty-inch fox- 

The Squire, emptying his glass and producing a box of 
cigars, and loudly whispering * Drawing-room ' to his normally 
quick-eared but temporarily deaf daughter, vociferated, in that 
loud, mellow voice with which he was wont to cheer his hounds 
(when within hail of them) and gladden his field, * She'll put you 
right. Keep your eye on Rosie. Ride to her; but give her 
room, of course, until you have roughed it and tumbled it a bit 
in Bankshire. I ride the best part of eighteen stone, and was 

A Match. 251 

ever more of a huntsman and houndman than a horseman ; but 
she goes. To*morrow you'll have to put up with the muggers ; 
but if you'll be schooled a bit by my daughter, you'll learn some- 
thing of Bankshire. I shall be out (possibly in the rear, though 
jelly-dogs suit my style of riding) as a sort of chaperon to you 
two young people.' 

♦ ♦♦♦♦♦ 

Accordingly, the next day was devoted to the harriers. 
Crasher had only two horses out. As he rode to the meet with 
the Squire and Miss Rattlington, whom he picked up on the 
road, he was informed that it was customary to disregard the 
hare altogether, to pay little heed to hounds, to concentrate 
one's attention on riding and big banking, and, above all, to 
strive to cut down and stick the rest of the field. 

Thus inspired, and somewhat built that way, Sir Charles 
so conducted himself as to be scheduled as * promising,' * a likely 
chap,' * a stranger shaping well and possessing possibilities.' 

He quickly found that the banks could not be fled * at once,' 
and that the trick was done (when done) by leaping up on to 
an erection towering above the hat of a man on a tall horse, 
poising more or less briefly on the broad top, and scrambling or 
flopping down on the other side. He was rather surprised at 
the loftiness ' of some of these banks, but he managed to do in 
Bankshire as Bankshire was wont to do, and said nothing, 
though, like the parrot, he thought much. 

He had only three proper falls — spoiling a glossy hat and 
tearing a very smart green coat ; and on his second horse (a 
banker from Ireland) he performed quite satisfactorily. 

After this, the riding- men of Bankshire decided that the 
stranger must really be weighed in the balance, and thoroughly 
reckoned up. Of course, it couldn't be expected that a mere 
Leicestershire galloper should be entirely up to Bankshire form. 
They must know how to place him, and he must be shown his 
place. Who should they pit against him ? 

*The beggar only rides nine stun,' said Tom Larkover ; *and 
we're all rather beefy in the Vale.' 

Young Lord Terrett, eldest son of the Earl of Haymes, the 
great gun of the county, solved the problem. 

* We'll match Miss Rattlington against him. Rosie's about 
as light as he is (lake fourteen pounds from him, perhaps), 
knows the country, and goes like a bird. That's about it, eh ? ' 

This was on a Tuesday. It was unanimously resolved that 

252 A Match. 

on the ensuing day (Wednesday) Miss Rattlington should be 
incited, for the honour of the county, to extend and otherwise 
call forth all the paces, powers, and potentialities of Sir Charles 
Crasher, and, above all, to down him if possible. There was to 
be a match. 

* No stakes* (no backers of the outsider !) ; a sort of love- 
chase between the pair — * all in the know bar one,' said Lark- 
over — * Crasher only to be kept in the dark/ 

The conspirators also agreed that it was not only to be a 
match between their champion and the stranger, but also 
between the local and imported horses. * Up-country nags no 
good in our country, chappies.' 

♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦ 

When the B.H. met the next morning at Squash Moor cross- 
roads all eyes (save those of Squire Rattlington, M.F.H., 
engaged with his pack) were on Sir Charles, who cantered up 
upon a thoroughbred galloping hack, "and had out two priceless 
blood hunters, a bay and a brown. Miss Rattlington rode a 
bay (almost brown) gelding, which she sat in what her father 
called ' the— er — new-fangled style.* In short, she rode astride. 

* She was entered like that, when rising nine,* said the Master, 

* and we have never broken her of it.' 

A tall, slim, graceful girl, wiry, lissom, long-limbed, and up- 
right, she looked mannish, without appearing unfeminine ; and, 
most carefully and correctly garbed, backed her mount like a 
long, handsome, elegant boy, and rode with stirrups of normal 
masculine length. 

Whilst the Squire, who carried the horn, was busy with * Lue 
in, eleu, eleu ! — push him up, my beauties ! ' Rosie asked Sir 
Charles to be good enough to ride with her — * to begin with, 
at any rate,' she added, with a charming and most innocent 

* Only too happy— much honoured and delighted, Tm sure, 
Miss Rattlington.' 

They found a good travelling fox almost immediately. 
, Though it did not flame breast-high (it rarely does !), nor yet lie 
like meal, scent served. Hard-riding set in severely. The two 
match-makers, well posted down wind, dashed over a set of 
post-and-rails, side by side, and settled down to ride in the most 
determined and slapping manner. 

Over a prickly common. Across some lovely grass. Down 
into the cultivated vale (wettish). Rising and sinking some 

A Match. 253 

full-sized banks. Still hounds travelled. Still the bulk of the 
field pounded along. Still the pair were well in it— leading 

After a burst of* some sixteen minutes, moderately slow 
hunting ensued for a while. There was no check and no casting. 
Then the Squire got on better terms with his fox, which, of 
course, went better as he was pressed, and soon the pack began 
to drive again. After this. Sir Charles proceeded more by faith 
than by sight. 

Rbsie and her charge continued to gallop and jump parallel 
to each other, and, ere long, the Baronet, still on his first horse, 
perceived that they were not precisely riding to hounds, and that 
he was pretty well holding his own, whilst his fair companion 
was flushed, and her mount anything but pulling. 

Once Rosie caught an echo of the faint twang of the paternal 
horn (so she declared) and diverged sharply, insomuch that a 
horrid rhene had to be crossed. However, both got over well 
and truly. 

Later, Crasher cast a shoe in a vile morass, as they were 
describing the chord of an arc, and was glad to pick up his 
second horse, artfully and artistically navigated towards him. 
After he had scrambled from the bay to the brown. Miss 
Rattlington said to him, * Now, Sir Charles ; now we*re going to 
begin serious business. Hark, holloa ! Come on ! ' 

He heard no holloa, but he came on. They were faced by 
a bank like a house or a hayrick. To the top of this formidable 
obstacle they both ascended, and from the lofty plateau of its 
summit down they went together, somehow, landing together in 
the next enclosure, both spilt ! 

Gracefully gathering herself up, the lady was all for getting 
forward. The gentleman, animated by ordinary gallantry and 
■extraordinary admiration, tendered assistance. She was in no 
end of a hurry, and in the scrimmage of tumbled horses a leg up 
was not unwelcome to the lady, who, once mounted, galloped 
off, being presently followed by the mere man. 

More bogs. More banks. More galloping. Where are the 
hounds ? Hark ! the music of the pack. See ! they are yonder, 
running for blood, with hackles up, having caught a view of 
their quarry. The Master is nowhere, apparently. The first- 
flighters of the field are considerably behind these wild riders, 
who have thus happily nicked in, far more by luck than judg- 
ment ; for Miss Rattlington has purposely selected the most 

254 A Match. 

stopping rather than the actual h'ne, and has saved not a little 
ground thereby. 

Very soon hounds run into their fox in the open. The 
first whipper-in (and k.h.) appears, and jduly officiates. The 
members of the field arrive on the scene. Miss Rattlington, 
disclosing the plot, cries out : * It's a drawn match, you sec, all 
of you ; for here we are arrived neck-and-neck.' 

* M'yes ! * said Lord Terrctt, * but how would it have been if 
you hadn't changed mounts ? Where should you have been on 
your own gee, Miss Rattlington, and not on Sir Charles's second 
horse ? ' 

In the hurry-scurry of remounting, after their joint grief, the 
lady had been put up upon the gentleman's steed ! 

* ril trouble you for my horse, Sir Charles,' said she, with 
beautiful effrontery, dismounting. 

He also dismounted, looking very pleasant, and made the 
exchange. The onlookers nudged and winked, lighted pipes 
and cigars, and murmured, * Matches ! ' 

Later, as the two rode home together, alone and very close, 
Crasher said : * I rather like that community of horses. Couldn't 
we throw the studs together and ride the same horses, indis- 
criminately, always ? Will you not make a match of it in another 
sense ? We seem to be well matched for double harness ? Do, 
dear Rosie, accept my offer, or, at least, think it over.' 

First she looked roguish, and then she looked demure. Pre- 
sently she said, * Horses, studs ? ' 

* You know what I mean,' replied the other. 

* Really, Sir Charles — er — Charlie, I can't make such a match 
as you appear to indicate quite in such a rushing manner, parti- 
cularly in this kit — but — I'll think it over, as you say — and " Ask 
papa." ' 

She did think it over (possibly, she had thought it over). 
She did ultimately consent (duly fashioned and furbelowed). 
* Papa ' was as * willin' ' as Barkis. At the end of the season, 
and at St. George's, Hanover Square, it was indeed A Match. 

( 255 ) 

By 'East Sussex/ 

* The mellow autumn came, and with it came 

The promised party to enjoy its sweets. 
The com is out, the manor full of game ; 

The pointer ranges, and the sportsman beats 
In russet jacket — lynx-like is his aim ; 

Full grows his bag, and wonderful his feats. 
Ah ! nut-brown partridges ! * 

Byron, Don Juan, Canto XIIL 

[HERE are so many fascinating points in the personality 
of the * little brown bird * that one is not the least 
surprised to come across him in the poets almost as 
frequently as among the turnips. Of all the game 
birds in the world, the partridge has been singled out for special 
adoration, despite the fact that in handsomeness of plumage 
there are many that can put him to shame, and others whose 
vocal powers are certainly of a higher standard. Perhaps it is 
because he cannot sii^ his own praises (for nobody would ac- 
cuse the partridge, with his harsh, grating call, of being a 
musical bird) that so many poets of importance, and others 
of no importance at all, have extolled him up hill and down 
dale, and held him up to mankind as a paragon of all the 

In nearly every shooting song that ever was written, the 
partridge is referred to in no measured terms of commendation 
as the most sporting of birds, and right well does he deserve the 
compliment. Equally loud are the encomiums of those who 
have sung of him in times of peace, and although, perhaps, his 
good points have been a little exaggerated in one or two in- 
stances, it is satisfactory to find that no one has a bad word to 
say against him. 

The devotion of the hen-partridge to her eggs or young, and 
also of the cock-bird, on occasion, has been, perhaps, the most 
favourite theme of partridge-poets all through the ages. Spenser 
certainly alludes, in his Faery Queen, to 'the feareful partridge ; * 
but the bird's * fearefulness * might often be better described as 
that discretion which is the better part of valour. At times 
neither the cock nor the hen is at all timid in its demeanour. 

256 Poets and Partridges. 

and one remembers a brood of perfectly wild birds, who, with 
their parents, used to come daily to the back door to pick up 
crumbs. Again, instances are not wanting of the partridge*s 
habit of attacking other birds, reptiles, and even dogs, when 
its young were in danger ; and every one, of course, has heard 
of the old bird's ruse of fluttering along the ground with ap- 
parently broken wing, in order to divert the attention of human 
intruders from her brood. Here we have an instance, not only 
of parental devotion, but also of remarkable sagacity, equalled 
only by the similar act of intelligence displayed by the aptly- 
named lapwing or peewit. 

Of the partridge's devotion to her eggs and young, Bishop 
Mant, a keen observer of birds and their ways, has the following 
lines, written by way of warning to the mowers in the hayfield: — 

* Ah, take thy heed, nor on her nest 
The partridge, ill-secur'd, molest. 
Deep in the grass behold her sit ; 
Reluctant from her couch to flit, 
Though the stout mower's whistling blade. 
Incautious, her abode invade. 
And threaten, *mid the falling heap, 
Away herself and brood to sweep.' 

Grahame, who must have been thinking of the imported red- 
legged partridge, when he referred in the following lines to * her 
freckled store ' (for the indigenous bird's eggs are plain olive- 
brown), was also struck by the partridge's unselfish, but mis- 
placed, devotion. He draws a perfectly true picture of the grey 
partridge's habits, but it is open to doubt whether the red- 
legged (or so-called * French ') bird ever displays the same 
degree of affection for her belongings : — 

* Rudely she forms 
Her shallow nest, humble as is the lark's. 
But thrice more numerous her freckled store. 
Careful she turns them to her breast, and soft 
With lightest pressure sits, scarce to be moved ; 
Yes, she will sit, regardless of the scythe, 
That nearer, and still nearer, sweep by sweep, 
Levels the swathe ; bold with a mother's fears, 
She, faithful to the last, maintains her post, 
And with her blood sprinkles a deeper red 
Upon the falling blossoms of the field.' 

The * poet of partridge-shooting,' as he has been called — to 

Poets and Partridges. 257 

wit, John Gay — has given us a vivid description of what the 
sport was like more than a century ago : — 

* The fluttering coveys from the stubble rise, 

And on swift wing divide the sounding skies ; 
The scattering lead pursues the certain sight, 
And death in thunder overtakes their flight/ 

* The certain sight ' must here be taken as an instance of 
poetical licence, for the art of shooting birds on the wing was a 
very difficult one to master in those days, when the very un- 
certain flint and steel mode of ignition often necessitated a waste 
of some seconds between the pulling of the trigger and the 
explosion of the charge. 

Many obscure poets of the eighteenth century broke into 
verse amid the pages of various publications in praise of part- 
ridge-shooting. One of them, in the Sporting Magazine for 
October 1792, occupies a couple of columns with *The Sports- 
man's Invitation on the First of September ; or, Sylvanus to 
Urbanus.* This comparison between the delights of the country 
and the dismalness of town has, of course, always been full of 
poetical possibilities, and they are not yet, judging by what one 
still sees, by any means exhausted. Here is a stanza or two 
culled from this appeal to the jaded Londoner to leave his 
miserable surroundings : — 

* Arise, brother sportsman, the landscape survey. 

Now the dog and the gun can delight ; 
The sweet breath of morn, with the toils of the day. 

Shall give zest to the bottle at night. 
Then quit the rude scene where infirmity grows. 

Where law, priests, and politicks break life's repose. 

* Away to the lawns, let your pointers be staunch, 

Come equip'd as a sportsman should be ; 
The 'squire at his table shall furnish the haunch, 
And the covey shall chear you with me.* 

The townsman is not appealed to in vain, for thus the 
sequel : — 

* Urbanus hears, lets fall his well-worn quill, 

Remounts his hunter and regains the hill ; 
September's pleasures warm his vital flood. 
And thro* the veins brisk circulates the blood.* 

The allusion here to the ' hunter * is not very clear, but it 
would seem that some reference to 'cubbing* is intended^ 

258 Poets and Partridges. 

although, of course, by a stretch of imagination, a shooting- 
pony might be so described. 

In a later issue of the same excellent magazine we find a 
certain Mr. Incledon dilating upon the pleasures of partridge- 
shooting over dogs. Having introduced us to his pointers, 
Carlo and Pero, he proceeds : — 

* How well they back ? how fine they point ? 
The head turn'd short, and fixt each joint, 

ril take the birds upon this side — 
The covey rises ! — scatt'ring wide 
Dead ! see the feathers to the right. 
Mark ! — Mark ! — Mark ! — Among the 
beans three brace alight* 

The printer does not appear to have had the same faith in 
the pointers' merits as their master, or he would not have so 
unkindly inserted notes of interrogation in the first line instead 
of those of exclamation ! 

This exciting day's partridge-shooting (without any mention 
of the bag, you will observe) is brought to a close in the next 
verse with the inevitable ' good cheer ' which has always been 
the just reward of all good sportsmen. Thus : — 

* Carlo — watch — charge ! keep in, Old Don ! 
When loaded — ho — good dogs — hey on ! 
Thus range we, till the sun gets high, 

And on the ground no scent will lie ; 

Then take through woods our homeward way, 

And o'er good cheer boast how pass'd the day.' 

Pero's name, it will be noted, seems to have been changed to 
Don during the day. Those who have had to deal with 
refractory dogs in the shooting-field will appreciate the wisdom 
of this proceeding. It is so much easier to swear in tnono- 

The culinary aspect of partridge-shooting has always com- 
manded the just attention of poets, and no one who has tasted 
a breast and a wing portion of the truly * scrumptious * little 
bird, killed after harvest in its first season, will say that this side 
of the business has been overdone. 

* My lady ' in Ben Jonson's Staple of News seems to have 
had a special weakness for game as well as a good appetite, as 
witness this : — 

* Fetch me a pheasant, or a brace of partridges. 
From goodwife poulterer, for my lady's supper.' 

Poets and Partridges, 259 

But William Browne must have been thinking of very old 
birds when he suggested : — 

* Pheasant and partridge into jelly turned, 
Grated with gold, seven times refined and burned. 
And dust of orient pearl.' 

This is gilding the gingerbread with a vengeance ! 
Another poet wrote : — 

* If the partridge had but the woodcock's thigh, 
'Twould be the best bird that ever did fly.' 

This probably refers to the fact that the 1^ of the partridge 
is rather * sinewy/ but so is that of the woodcock, unless, af cord- 
ing to the old custom (of which this writer may not have known), 
you break the bird's leg and twist out the sinews while the body 
is still warm. The same might be done with partridges, but it 
would spoil their appearance for the table. 

Rearing partridges by hand, in the same manner as pheasants, 
is generally regarded as a modern idea, but the reference to the 
former in the following lines would seem to suggest that the 
custom is an old one. The words are those of Prigg in 
Beaumont and Fletcher's Beggars' Bush : — 

* I must have my capons 
And turkeys brought me in with my green geese, 
And ducklings in the season ; fine fat chickens ; 
And if you chance where an eye of tame pheasants 
And partridges are kept, see they be mine.' 

There can be no doubt about it that roast partridge is a dish 
for the gods. Indeed, there is but one thing better, and that is 
the shootmg of * the little brown bird ' before he is roasted. 
Ploreat perdix cinerea ! 


( 26o ) 


By Miss M. V. Wynter. 

* There is an old saying in Spain that the man who would buy a mule 
without a fault must not buy one at all, and faultless horses are equally rare.' 

GREEK physician who had been called in to attend 
a patient who was seriously ill, requested the lad's 
father that he would * reveal the sickness ere I heal 
the sore.' * They call it Horse,' replied the parent ; 
* a malady obscure that saps the vitals.' And we who in this 
twentieth century have fallen a prey to the same insidious 
disease, will agree with the ancient cynic (doubtless worn out 
with paying his, son's racing debts) that the complaint, once 
contracted, is one which takes possession of the whole system. 
Like the gentleman in the tall white hat whom David Copper- 
field met on the top of the Canterbury coach, there are some of 
us to whom *osses' are 'wittles and drink, lodging, wife and 
children, reading, writing and 'rithmetic, snuff, tobacker, and 
sleep ! ' To those so constituted, a world without horses would 
be indeed a dreary waste, and there is perhaps no blow which 
fate can administer that is more keenly or more lastingly felt than 
that which robs us of the ability to keep 'something' in the stable. 
One of the most marked features of this obscure malady is 
the incurable hopefulness possessed by its victims, *who can 
take up an 'oss book and read about splints and spavins, 
stringalt and corns, and ringbone and roarin' without a shudder, 
lest such a complication of evils should fall to his lot' Yet who 
amongst us, however bad his luck — or his judgment — may have 
been in the past, but hopefully anticipates that the near future will 
see him possessed of that four-leaved shamrock, the perfect horse? 
Between the good and bad hunter there is a great gulf 
fixed, a gulf so vast that not even the finest horsemanship and 
the most perfect valour can successfully bridge it Every 
hunting man or woman, however fortunate, has probably had at 
least one experience of how wrong the wrong sort may be. 

* Whether horse it be or helpmate, 
To your lot which may befall ; 
Still, that which can and will not. 
Is the hardest lot of all.' 

Hunters : Goody Bad, and Indifferent. 261 

And perhaps the jnost disappointing, inasmuch as it is the 
.most irremediable of complaints in the wrong sort of hunter, is 
that which arises from a total absence of heart. To have occupy- 
ing our meagrely-filled stables one of these whited sepulchres, 
young, sound, handsome, a hunter every inch in appearance ; 
to know that we have expended upon his worthless person a 
sum that we shall never see again, and then to find that each 
successive hunting day brings us nothing but chagrin and 
heartburning. ' Oh ! the pity of it, lago — the pity of it' Just 
at first we may refuse to acknowledge the depths of our 
purchase's baseness. * Not quite recovered from his journey.' 
* Doesn't understand this sort of country ; give him time, and 
then see how he'll show 'em the way,' &c., until at length the 
day comes when even we are forced to awake to the humiliating 
fact that we have been * done ' this time. 

The novice who starts his hunting career with the assistance 
of one or two really good hunters, has more to thank Providence 
for than he usually realises. We are all somewhat apt to blame 
the 'stupid fool of a horse' when anything goes amiss during 
the day's proceedings; but it is not until we have had a few 
specimens of the wrong sort of conveyance that we learn to 
appreciate the undaunted courage, generosity, and brain-power 
that are the leading characteristics of that most delightful of 
partners, the right sort of hunter. 

• * The coward will dare on the gallant horse, 
What he never would venture alone ; 
Because he exults in a borrowed force, 
And a hardihood not his own.' 

And it is wonderful what an amount of confidence a gallant 
horse can infuse into even the most careful of riders. 

We who upon other animals unassumingly wait our turns at 
gaps and gates, now thirst for the opportunity of giving leads, 
secure in the consciousness that however forbidding the timber 
or trappy the fence, our * good ' hunter will neither refuse nor 
put a foot wrong. Every rose has its thorn, however, and after 
riding one of those who cannot fail, it is a somewhat rude 
awakening to find ourselves upon an animal who seems as if he 
cannot stand up. With the confidence born of a long 
acquaintance with the 'cunning and the kind,' we gaily ram 
our new partner along at anything and everything, only to find 
that he gallops through his fences, chests his timber, and prefers 
to take his water-jumps * in two.' No hunter, you will say, only 

262 Hunters : Good, Bad, and Indifferent. 

fit to draw a sand-cart ; yet scores of such animals, masquerading 
as hunters, find their way into every repository in the kingdom, 
from there to gain a temporary billet in some unfortunate 
sportsman's stables. 

* People talk about size and shape, shoulders, quarters, blood, 
bone and muscle, but for my part, give me a hunter with brains; 
he has to take care of the biggest fool of the two, and think for 
both.* And there is no more distinguishing hall-mark of the 
really good hunter, we think, than this useful appendage of 
brains. However bold a horse may be, if he is a fool at the 
same time, we are sure to be pounded sooner or later by the 
man on the possibly inferior, but brainier animal. In nine cases 
out of ten it is not the size of the fences to be negotiated, but 
the trappiness of them, that makes the difficulty, and the value 
of the animal who always has a leg to spare, who knows when 
to creep and when to extend himself is * far above rubies.* 

If the highest encomium which we can bestow upon a horse- 
man is to say that he will * go * on any horse, so the highest 
praise which we can accord to the hunter is the description 
which we so frequently see in sale catalogues, ' a clever performer 
over any country.* To take a horse out of a cramped banking 
country and expect him immediately to realise that he must 
gallop at his fences and spead himself, is making a great demand 
upon his resourcefulness and courage, and it speaks volumes 
for the equine race that there are scores of good, clever hunters 
to be found equal to any emergency, although we must own, 
they are not always to be had for the * asking.' 

We are fond of extolling the Irish hunter's adaptability and 
cleverness, but apt to overlook the superior training which un- 
doubtedly develops these qualities. However little attention 
he may pay to mouth, manners, and conditioning, the Irishman 
is fully alive to the necessity of teaching his horse to lep, and 
from the time the colt is haltered he is receiving definite in- 
struction as to how to negotiate every kind of fence. 

Beginning with the smallest and most tempting of banks, the 
standard is gradually raised until the pupil has learned to sur- 
mount it with confidence, to change his feet on the top, and to 
jump out well on the far side. After this he is taken out 
* walking,' still on the long rein, over a natural country ; and not 
until he has learnt to negotiate with ease and style every species 
of fence that he may encounter, is the cavesson exchanged for 
the bridle, and the colt ridden instead of led over his jumps. 

I have seen these same methods of training carried out by a 

Hunters: Good, Bad, and IndifferefiL 263 

Devonshire farmer with such success that at three years old his ' 
horses could pound many an old stager in the hunting field. At 
four they were rightly considered * made hunters/ and sold as 
such at a considerable profit to their owner. One of the 
favourite amusements of this same farmer was to exhibit his 
horses' jumping prowess to any visitor whom he was desirous of 
impressing ; and to those unacquainted with his methods of 
training and the cleverness of his horses, it was something of an 
eye-opener to see these three- and four-year-old colts jumping 
gates into the road or negotiating the trappiest of banks, usually 
in and out of the owner's potato plot, with the most perfect style 
and confidence ! 

Between the really good horse and the absolutely worthless 
one we find a large middle class — horses who, without possessing 
any glaring defects, contrive somehow to fall short of the stan- 
dard of the right sort — who, in fact, come under St. John's con- 
demnation of those who are * neither hot nor cold.' They can 
jump fairly well, gallop fairly well, are fairly sound, they have 
no * pleasant vices,' yet the truth remains that we can see them 
walk out of the stable en route for a new home without ex- 
periencing one fleeting pang of regret. 

Difficulty of Buying Horses, 

Even a very limited experience in buying horses is sufficient 
to teach us that the perfect hunter — that idyllic combination 
of looks, manners, performances, and soundness, is a dream 
only attainable by those who have money as well as knowledge, 
and the impecunious sportsman, when considering which of 
these desirable qualifications he can best dispense with, finds 
he has embarked on no easy task. However emphatically 
we may repeat to ourselves Bacon's statement that * Beauty 
is as a summer fruit, easy to corrupt and cannot last,' few 
people — when it comes to the point — care to ride downright 
wgly or badly-blemished horses ; in addition to which— even 
though we ourselves may possess a soul superior to mere 
beauty — the general public has not, and there is usually a diffi- 
<^ulty in disposing of such animals again. Manners, we are told, 
maketh man, and undoubtedly they make a vast deal of differ- 
ence to the hunter. Those playful infirmities of temper, which 
we discuss — and cure — so airily after dinner in the smoking- 
^oom, assume a different complexion when contemplated under 
the chilly, uncompromising attitude of an early morning toilet. 
Too late now to wish that we had resisted that insidious flattery 

264 Hunters : Goody Body ana Indifferent. 

— *all right with your hands/ *only wants to know who's 
master' — our intelligent partner has long ago solved the latter 
problem to his entire satisfaction, and all that now remains for 
us to do is to * assume a virtue if we have it not/ and if we are 
passengers, at any rate to make believe that we are willing ones- 
One of the most difficult points in buying a horse without a 
trial is to obtain a correct estimate of his performances. The 
animal eulogised by Jones as * the finest hunter he ever sat on/ 
will be dismissed by Smith as a * very indifferent performer/ 
Horses that are sold as never turning their heads may, with less 
firm handling, come to refusing sheep-hurdles ; and when we 
consider of what easily-tarnished material the equine — as well as 
the human — reputation is made, and remember the noble 
army of crabbers who form such a strong element in every 
hunting-field, the wonder is that a horse can attain to any age 
and preserve even the shreds of a character. 

When we see a horse going his very best with some one 
else on him, our natural vanity prompts us to think that he 
would go more excellently still were we on top, and no doubt 
he would do so if we could buy the horsemanship as well as the 
horse. Those who spend their time in searching for that rara 
aviSy a horse who never refuses, are apt to forget that nerves 
are almost as catching as the flue ; few horses are conscientious 
enough to go on jumping without some persuasion on the part of 
the rider, and the rushing, tearing type of animal who will be 
with hounds at any price, although he may certainly never 
refuse, they equally as certainly would not care about riding. 

The Ethics of Soundness. 

How far absolute soundness is a necessity in the hunter is 
a very ticklish question to decide. As long ago as 1841 we 
find a writer in the New Sporting Magazine declaring that * if a 
veterinary surgeon chooses to be very particular^ he can con- 
scientiously pass no horse that ever was foaled.* And those 
cautious buyers — and they are legion — who, on their veterinary's 
advice, go on refusing horse after horse — this one because he 
\ves a corn, that one because he has small feet, a splint, a 
tendency to brush — njay go all through the wood only to find 
they have picked up the crooked stick at last. 

Absolute soundness, when united to other qualities, is, no 
doubt, a very desirable adjunct, but it is little use having an 
absolutely sound horse if he is an absolutely worthless one as 

Hunters : Good^ Bad, and Indifferent. 265 

well, and, unfortunately, the generous, high-couraged animal, 
from his very disinclination to save himself, is most frequently 
the first to go wrong. When it comes to a question of sellings 
almost any unsoundness must cause a distinct depreciation in 
the horse's market value ; as far as usefulness goes, however, a 
sound screw is often sounder than a sound horse, and the most 
unconventional legs and joints, when really callous, not unfre- 
quently stand the most work. The difficulty lies in deciding 
which out of the many ills that horseflesh is heir to is the one 
least likely to impair his usefulness and prove least obnoxious 
to ourselves. 

Broadly speaking, dicky tendons, or suspensorys, or any- 
thing seriously wrong with the feet, are, we think, to be avoided, 
unless in the case of the former the horse has been fired and 
known to stand for at least one season. To those who are not 
averse to a little music, horses who make a noise, if otherwise 
fairly sound, often make the best of cheap hunters, and can 
generally be bought for the proverbial song, as no dealer will 
touch them, and they seldom make much money at auction. 
In horseflesh, as in other affairs of life, however, probably the 
chief secret of happiness consists in not expecting too much, 
and in laying to heart that admirable counsel given to Ingenuous 
Youth — * That if his horse was not so good as he might be, let 
him, at any rate, cherish the thought that he might have been 
far worse.' 

Ladies' Hunters. 

*I looked him o'er, perfection quite, 

A hunter every inch ; 
And at once, whatever the figure, 
I determined not to flinch.* 

At this season of the year it is only natural that stable matters 
should absorb a large proportion of the time and thoughts of most 
sportswomen. It may be a platitude to say that three parts of 
our enjoyment in the hunting-field depends upon our equine 
partners ; but the fact remains that few people can rise entirely 
superior to their horseflesh, and with those whose stud is a 
strictly limited one, the choice of a new hunter is a somewhat 
anxious affair. 

Increase in the Numbers of Hunting Women. 

Every fresh season witnesses numberless additions to the 
ranks of hunting women, a statistic which should bring joy into 

266 Hunters : Good, Bad, and Indifferent. 

the pessimistic hearts of all horse-dealers, as even, although 
women are popularly supposed to be more unreasonable than 
men in their requirements in the matter of horseflesh, yet, at the 
same time, good light-weight hunters are considerably easier to 
find than good heavy-weight horses ; also— in contradistinction 
to the old idea that anything was 'good enough to carry a 
woman ' — many men will now pay practically fabulous prices 
so long as they can ensure their womankind being carried to 
hounds with safety, credit, and renown. In speaking of ladies' 
hunters, we must remember that there are many horsewomen, 
possessed of strong nerves and a strong physique, and ac- 
customed from childhood to riding any and every sort of 
animal, who are every whit as capable of riding the ordinar>* 
type of hunter as are their masculine comrades ; but these are 
not, as a rule, the class of customers who pay long prices for 
their horses, or who require the stamp of animal we are con- 
sidering to-day. 

TIte Type to Aim At. 

Those who attend the various horse-shows held in almost 
•every part of the countr>', have excellent opportunities of 
forming their judgment on the right stamp of hunter to aim at. 
Perfection of outline and a corresponding perfection in per- 
formances, do not, as we know, always go hand-in-hand, how- 
ever, and many horses who have * swept the board * in the show- 
ring, prove themselves to be the most mediocre animals in the 
hunting-field. Even in buying horses, we find * Compromise ' to 
be one of the * cardinal conditions of life's tenure ' ; but although 
there are few, if any, horses in which the fastidious critic cannot 
find some flaw, there are some points which strike us as being 
essential in a ladies' hunter, and amongst these we should place 
(i) good sloping shoulders; (2) a strong loin and powerful 
quarters ; (3) head and neck properly set on. 

Whyte Alelvilles Opinion. 

Whyte Melville was fond of declaring that a man should 
never indulge in the luxury of shoulders until he was past forty ; 
but the probabilities are that the fair sportswoman who per- 
sistently followed this advice would never live to attain that 

In a heavy- shouldered, ill-balanced horse, we find that the 
whole strain of jumping comes on the forelegs, and therefore. 

Hunters : Good, Bad, and Indifferent. 267 

the slightest stumble or mistake is sufficient to make him fall, 
and fall heavily, in addition to which, a side-saddle comes 
several inches farther forward on the horse's withers than does 
a man's, so that a horse with a * bad rein ' will always show to 
the worst advantage with a lady up. 

Up to Weight. 

Most men when buying ladies' hunters are apt to overlook 
the fact that a woman, although she may * walk ' lighter than a 
man, will require a stronger horse in compagson to carry her ; 
the reason for this, of course, being that the position on a side- 
saddle subjects the horse's quarters and hocks to a considerably 
greater strain than when the weight is more evenly distributed 
in the middle. 

A Good Mouth. 

A horse whose head and neck are properly set on is almost 
bound to carry himself well, and is very rarely a really hard 
puller ; it is the ewe-necked star-gazer, or bull-necked, heavy- 
shouldered animal who is the most difficult to bit A really 
good light mouth is possibly one of the greatest charms the 
ladies* hunter can possess : i.e., by light, we do not mean too 
light, as for real enjoyment a horse should go into his bridle 
sufficiently to show he means * business ' at his fences ; for 
although women are usually very successful in their manage- 
ment of fretful, fidgety horses, they are bound to be seriously 
handicapped with a hard puller, both from their lack of physical 
strength and from their inability — from their position — to keep 
their hands right down. 

Comfort to be Considered. 
The woman who possesses one, or at most two horses, and 
who has to hack to the meets, instead of * sending on ' and 
motoring luxuriously over in a car, will find an easy hack 
an almost indispensable adjunct. A high - actioned, rough 
trotting -horse adds enormously to the fatigue of a day's 
hunting, especially if he be a poor walker in addition, whilst 
a light, elastic mover can convert even a twelve-mile hack into 
a pleasure. 

Manners and Performances. 

Last, but not least, in the list of the virtues possessed by the 
ladies' horse,' come manners and performances. The perfect- 

268 Hunters : Good, Bad, and Indifferent. 

mannered animal who will stand like a statue whilst a covert is 
being drawn, and yet carry his mistress faultlessly at the top of 
the hunt for as long as hounds run, who never pulls, never 
refuses, never attempts to rush through narrow gateways, who,, 
in fact, rises superior to all those little weaknesses so dear to the 
equine heart, is very, very hard to find. Whatever virtues the 
ladies* hunter may or may not possess, however, the two faults 
which we think stand out as pre-eminently to be avoided are 
a vicious kicker and a determined refuser. 

That kicking, is not looked upon as the crime with which 
we regard it is evident from the number of sportsmen and 
sportswomen who bring horses adorned with the familiar danger 
signal into the most crowded and fashionable meets in the 
Midlands. Not only is a kicker a source of the greatest danger 
and annoyance to other people, however, but his unfortunate 
rider — if she possesses a grain of conscientiousness — has to 
manoeuvre so much to keep him away from other people that 
she is woefully handicapped in riding to hounds. 

Many brilliant jumpers are unfortunately undeniably *nappy' 
at their fences, but the horse who persistently runs out can 
never be a suitable or a pleasant mount for a woman, as, 
however well she may ride, it is impossible for her to keep a 
horse as straight at his fences, and to squeeze him in the way 
that a man can do. 

The Price of a Good Ladies Hunter. 

The price of a good ladies* hunter may be anything from 
40/. up to 400/., according to the knowledge of the buyer, who 
she buys from, and the country in which she hunts. The 
nervous woman who buys from some well-known and fashion- 
able dealer will very likely have to pay 200/. for a horse whose 
intrinsic value is perhaps 80/. She will have the satisfaction,, 
however, of telling every one she has paid 200/., and of knowing 
that should her purchase turn out unsatisfactory she will be able 
to change it, and to go on changing — with a little additional 
money thrown in — until she is satisfied. Although the price of 
a horse may be no real criterion of its actual value, yet those 
who wish to be carried * in the van ' with, say, the Pytchley, the 
Quorn, or the Cottesmore, must expect to pay three or four 
times the sum that would buy a good, useful provincial hunter. 

* Every species of fence every horse doesn't suit ; 
What's a good country hunter may here prove a brute ; ' 

A Famous Riding-master. 269 

and the combination of looks, manners, pace, and generosity 
that are required for the ideal ladies* hunter in the Midlands 
takes a rich woman to buy, and possibly a wise one to 


By * Dragoon.' 

JT IS a noteworthy fact that, although 'Geoffrey 
Gambado ' is a name * familiar in men's mouths 
as household words,' or, if. we cannot quite go 
so far as Shakespeare, at all events familiar in the 
mouths of all sportsmen, the man himself is absolutely 
unknown to the present generation. I use the expression * the 
man himself* in a Pickwickian sense, and really we are all apt 
to forget that famous characters of fiction are not living entities, 
as much as did the waiter at the * Old White Horse ' at Ipswich, 
to whom a Dickens-lover, putting the question, * Is this the bed- 
room where Mr. Pickwick is supposed to have slept ? ' received 
for reply : * This is the room where Mr. Pickwick slept, sir.' 

But if * Geoffrey Gambado, Master of the Horse to the Doge 
of Venice,' is a fictitious person, I think it must be admitted that 
that other famous personage, whom, indeed, we can hardly admit 
to be a creation of the novelist's brain, Mr. Jorrocks, is not made 
to look upon him as such. To our old friend John, Geoffrey 
was a reliable guide in horsey matters ; indeed, the name of 
the office which he was supposed to have held could only have 
confirmed the grocer M.F.H. in his error. Venice meant 
nothing to him except the name of a town, and no doubt he 
would be fully unaware that the only horses to be found in 
the Doge's city were the famous team of St. Mark. 

Of course, the supreme fun of Jorrocks's first * Lector on 
'Unting,' so far as Geoffrey Gambado is concerned, lies in the 
fact that he is made to take a book, which was written as a 
jest, as a serious guide to horsemanship, and solemnly adhere 
to, or differ from, the opinions expressed by * The Master of 
the 'Orse to the Doge of Wenice.' The reader may think it 
superfluous on my part to make this remark ; but I can assure 
him that, from ignorance of anything about Geoffrey Gambado, 

270 A Famous Riditig-masUr. 

many men are led to follow old John into error. But enough of 
John Jorrocks, whom everybody knows — and loves. Let us 
return to Geoffrey, with whom the present generation 
is practically entirely unacquainted. 

The Academy for Grown Horsemen was published in the 
year 1787, and the Annals of Horsemanship is generally — 
perhaps invariably — bound up with it It is generally supposed 
that the author was H. W. Bunbury, as he indubitably was the 
illustrator of these books. 

The Academy is supposed to consist of fragments saved from 
the sea, in which Mr. Gambado was drowned when on his way 
to take up his appointment as * Master of the Horse, Riding 
Master, and Grand Equerry to the Doge of Venice.' There are 
only a couple of dozen pages of these — preceded by the editor's 
introduction, and that again, by his dedication to Lord Town- 
shend, Colonel of the Queen's Bays, from which I cull the 
following : — 

* Having, with regret, observed that both your Lordship and 
the corps under your command, if one may judge by appearances, 
are totally ignorant of the grace and superior advantages at- 
tending Mr. Gambado's system, I have flattered myself that on 
a perusal of it, you will not only adopt it yourself, but also use 
your interest to introduce it into the service. What might not 
be expected from the British Cavalry thus improved ?' 

The Editor winds up with his * sincere wishes that your 
Lordship may long, very long, in health and spirits enjoy your 
BAYS.' Next follows the writer's preface, ending : * When I 
have told the reader how to choose a horse, how to tackle him 
properly, in what sort of dress to ride him, how to mount and 
manage him, how to ride him out, and, above all, how to ride him 
home again ; if he is not a complete horseman in the course of 
ten or a dozen summers, I will be bold to foretell that neither 
the skill of Mr. Astley nor the experience of Mr. John Gilpin, 
will ever make him one.' 

To this the Editor's Preface, somewhat oddly, follows. 
Jorrocks has quoted a good deal of this, but not the following :— 

* Of Jeffery, or, as he himself desired it to be wrote, Geoffrey 
Gambado, little is known of the descent ; but that his father 
was a tailor he himself has assured me, and that he lived in 
Devonshire is no less certain. Being a prodigious horseman 
(his customers living all at a considerable distance from him), I 
make no doubt but that it was in allusion to him that the term 

A Famous Riding-master. 271 

" riding like a tailor " took its rise — a term still particularly 
applicable to the natives of that county/ 

This last remark would be one few people would care to 
repeat, say, at a dinner of Devonians in London. 

We then come to the book itself. The numerous plates, 
conceived in the spirit of the humour of that age, do not strike 
us as particularly funny ; and of the literary matter Surtees has 
made such- copious use — where not too Rabelaisian — that he has 
not left us much to laugh at. 

The following passage, however, admirably expresses the 
spirit of the work : — 

*The mode of leaning the body pretty forward over the 
pommel of the saddle, in a walk or trot, has been too little in 
practice of late years, and it is high time it should be revived. 
There is an appearance of airiness in it that embellishes the 
figure of a rider very much indeed, particularly if he be mounted 
on a long-backed horse, who throws his saddle well forward, and 
is unencumbered with a cropper; here he exhibits an elegant 
picture of careless indifference, and seems contemptuously to 
leave all the world behind him.' 

On dress Geoffrey has equally something to say, and, leaving 
on one side the very funny, but too Rabelaisian, episode of the 
diaculum drawers, I may quote the following :— 

* Let your boots be somewhat short, and the knees of your 
breeches but just reach the joint, so that the flap of your saddle 
may be continually curling up, and chafing you between the 
confines of the boot and breeches, by which means you will be 
satisfied that your le^ is in a proper position.' 

Such specimens serve to show what the entire work is like ; 
in fact, I may say that the only remark in the book which the 
reader will really be well advised not to go totally and dia- 
metrically against is where the Doge's equerry speaks of the 
danger of being dragged up by the stirrup. He says : — 

' Now, of all the ways of conveyance that I have had a taste 
of, this is the least agreeable ; if it should be the same to you, 
provide yourself with a pair of patent stirrups ; with them your 
attachment to your horse may be as short as you please. They 
have done wonders ; can I say more ? I am happy in being 
able to bear testimony of their astonishing efficacy in the case of 

a friend of mine, the Rev. Mr. C , A.M., when of Pembroke 

College, Cambridge, by transcribing his own words at the con- 
clusion of an advertisement he inserted in all the. papers, ad- 

272 A Famous Riding-master. 

dressed to the patentee. Having purchased a pair of his 
stirrups, and falling one afternoon, as he was accustomed, from 
his horse, he says, " But, thanks to Providence and your noble 
invention, my leg and your stirrup coming off at the same 
instant, I escaped unhurt." To what a pitch of perfection is 
human ingenuity arrived 1 * 

This is excellent fooling, no doubt ; and, after Geoffrey has 
got his man mounted, he proceeds : — 

* Before ever your horse gets into motion, clap both your 
spurs into him pretty sharp ; this will set him a-going for the 
rest of the day, and show him you have spurs on, which, if he 
did not know, he might incline to be idle. I do not think that 
there can be a more approved mode of setting off than this, but 

I must caution you that * [Here, we can't have any more of 

this ! We are not in 1787 now. — Editor, Sporting Notes."] 

Having thus started his pupil off, Gambado proceeds to give 
him those instructions for stopping his horse which will be found 
<luoted in Hundley Cross, 

We are given the following description of our hero's end 
which * was as singular as his life had been. The vessel being 
expected to go to pieces every instant, he drank a quart of hot 
punch, and came coolly on the deck ; and, having first called up 
all the fortitude he was able, he next called up his servant, with 
all the saddles and bridles that could be got ; and, having 
mounted himself on the largest, and taking a bridle in one hand 
and a paper case in the other, desired to be thrown into the sea. 
This was complied with, but the informant adds that the boat- 
swain, being somewhat desirous to save his life likewise, hastily 
jumped up behind the unfortunate Gambado, and he apprehends 
that the saddle, although new and large, was not master of his 
additional weight, for it dropped with such precipitancy as to 
throw our author out of his seat, and, his foot catching and 
hanging in the stirrup, soon put an -end to his mortal career. 
And it must be confessed that he made his exit en parfait 
cavalier, and an honour to his leather he was. " A dishonour to 
his cloth'' is applied to many a drunken parson, and I do not 
see why. To Geoffrey, leather is more suitable.' 

In the Annals of Horsemanship we find Gambado taking the 
position which Mr. Jorrocks described as that of a sort of 
* chamber counsel in 'oss cases.' It is prefaced by the Editor, 
who remarks : * That such an author should be no rider may 
appear marvellous at first, but, on reflection, we laust acknow- 

A Famous Riding-master. 273 

ledge that we daily find people speaking and writing on what 
they know nothing at all about. Herein Geoffrey exceeds all 
I ever heard of : for such a book of knowledge as his Academy 
for Grown Horsemen never yet made an appearance in the 

We then have * Geoffrey Gambado to the Reader.' In the 
course of these remarks he says : * I request my Readers will be 
more attentive to what is contained in the following pages, than 
they were to my History of Cruppers^ this being of much more 
serious tendency — and a publication that for its salutary or 
wholesome advice ought to be printed for brass.' The Editor in 
a foot-note suggests that in brass was meant 

Then follow the eighteen letters. Most of these have 
Gambado's notes, and some his answer appended. Amongst the 
latter is that to the Reverend Mr. Nutmeg about his horse * with 
only one fault,' which is quoted almost in extenso in Jorrocks's 
' lector.' 

It is to be regretted that it is impossible to here reproduce 
the correspondence with Mr. George Gillyflower, which with its 
accompanying illustration, is the funniest thing in the book, and 
calculated to plunge a smoking-room circle in almost in- 
extinguishable laughter. I fear, however, that in quoting Mr. 
Gambado's instruction for starting I have already trespassed 
over the boundaries which a twentieth-century Editor will 
approve. [Oh, no, you haven't ; there are still blue pencils in 
Piccadilly. — Editor, Sporting Notes,"] I will therefore end my 
quotations with — 

Sir, — Your fame having reached us here, I sit down with 
pleasure to write to a man who I am certain will have an equal 
pleasure in satisfying the doubts that now occupy my mind. I 
would proceed and state every difficulty I find in the treatment 
and guidance of a horse, to which animal I confess I am rather 
an alien, although I have happily attained my thirty-fifth year. 
I was bred to a business that debarred me from an amusement 
for which I seem formed by nature, being. Sir, very short in the 
fork, and what our wits call duck-legged, and all my weight 
lying atop : and it was not till I emerged, as I may say, from 
the country house, that I could make a trial of my abilities as a 
horseman. I really think I am going on well, that I am in a 
state of daily amendment and progressive improvement. The 
questions I have to put to you, Sir, are so short and simple that 

2 74 ^ Famous Riding-master, 

I will not divert your attention from them a bit longer, but put 
them down as they arise — they require nothing but an answer. 


(i) What part of my horse must I lay hold of to help me up, 
for his mane is cut off? 

(2) If he will turn to the left when I want to go to the right, 
how can I help it ? 

'^3) If he slips his girths and the crupper is no use, what 
will supply its place ? 

(4) Should he tumble down by daylight, whether you think 
he would in the dark ? 

(5) What a breastplate is ? We have heard of it here, but 
our Saddler does not how to make one. The Adjutant of the 
Militia says it is a sort of armour, to prevent the horse hurting 
himself by running against a waggon or a wall. But I say that 
can't be, because the horse's head should be armed, as that would 
hit the wall first, and prevent his breast receiving any damage. 
Pray solve this by return of post, as many bets are depending on 
it at our next Club. 

(6) How can I keep a horse cheap ? 

(7) What is the best way to sell a bad horse, if I don't like 
him } 

These are a few of the trifling questions I shall beg leave to 
trouble you with from time to time : and as it will be extremely 
easy, and, I dare say, agreeable to you, to answer them, L shall 
make no apology, but with my assurance that I am, Sir, 
Yours devoted and very humble Servant, 

Samuel Fiixagree. 
G. Gambado, Esq. 

On this letter our author comments thus : * This fellow with 
his assurance, appeared to be such a puppy, I could not answer 
him for some months ; indeed, his quericSs rather posed me, but 
his fees came in fast, and I was fain to solve them as well as I 

* The first I left to his better judgment, only suggesting that 
the ear of the horse and the pommel of the saddle were all that 
offered themselves in lieu of a mane, if his horse had none. 

* The second I could not assist him in. 

* The folly of the third raised my choler, and involving with 
it the fifth, I had not patience to enter on either of thera ; so I 
fear the bets at the Club are not yet decided. 

Hunting the Otter. 275 

* The fourth and the sixth were extremely easy to be 
answered ; I never met with two queries more so. But the 
seventh, skilful as I am, I confess I could not reply to, to my 
Correspondent's satisfaction : and I shall be much bound to any 
of my Readers, who will tell me, how the business therein stated 
is to be brought about ; being ever open to conviction, and not 
yet too old to learn. * G. G.' 

It is to be feared that this last question still awaits reply, in 
spite of the six-score years that have elapsed since it was first 
propounded. The Critic on my Hearth suggests that the correct 
reply is, * Find a bigger fool than yourself 

It is to be regretted that our Riding Master does not let us 
into the secret of keeping a horse cheap— on his lines. I am 
sure our modern times are not much better than his, when, as 
one of his querists says, * At this very time you have a parcel of 
fellows who go about teaching folks to ride on three horses at 
once, when as how there are very few, in a moderate line, that 
can afford to keep half a one.' However, we shall probably 
not be content to economise by riding three on one steed, 
as he arranges, thus : — 

* If you can purchase a very long-back'd horse, by one 
common and two side saddles you may all ride in file, or one 
behind the other ; one lady facing to her right, the other to the 

Whereon the present commentator will only remark that he 
saw the very horse for the job — in an omnibus, opposite Mr. 
Fores's establishment, only yesterday. 


By * Footpad.' 

^HE time is five a.m., and the place a rickety old 

wooden bridge that carries a country lane over the 

clear, lazy waters of a southern stream. It is an 

ideal summer morning, with the lately risen sun 

casting soft rays of light and long, faint shadows across the 

wide, open meadows of the valley. A touch of crispness is in the 

air at this early hour, albeit a cloudless sky and an almost 


2/6 Hunting the Otter. 

imperceptible breeze from the west herald the coming of a hot 
summer's day. There is but little sign of life, human or other- 
wise, but it is evident, from the column of faint blue smoke 
rising from the tall chimney of a solitary farmhouse in the 
valley, that some one is astir, and as one stands and looks, the 
door opens, and the farmer and his son step out across the yard 
to give the horses and cattle their breakfast before they have 
their own. The only living creatures to be seen are a score of 
beasts chewing the cud lazily but audibly by the water's side, 
and a pair of herons, their night's fishing over, flapping their 
laborious way towards the heronry in a private park through 
which the stream at a later period of its career winds its 
uncertain course. 

But to-day we arc out for more serious business than the 
pursuit of natural history — to wit, the pursuit of the otter in his 
favourite haunts. And here is the Master himself, with his 
pack of eight and a half couple of hounds, most of them of the 
true rough-coated breed, with two couple of foxhounds to make 
music and to keep the pack together; and Jock, the terrier, 
whose services may or may not be required. The * field ' will 
only be a small one, but there is nothing to be regretted in that, 
for a big following is not the most desirable feature at an otter- 
hunt. For this reason the meets are not advertised, and only 
about a score of members (notified by postcard of the fixture) 
are likely to be present to-day. The Master, who is ac- 
companied by a friend and the whipper-in, is a little before his 
time this morning, and no one else except the solitary person 
who has been standing on the bridge this last twenty minutes, 
enjoying the freshness of the early morning by the riverside, has 
as yet put in an appearance. And so, while we wait for the rest 
of the party, we discuss the possibilities of sport and the latest 
events of this little world of ours, that jogs along all by itself in 
these secluded parts, and of whose existence not many people 
outside the county have ever heard. 

The Master has fixed on this particular meeting-place in 
response to the invitation of old Jonas, owner of the mill whose 
rumbling wheels can just be heard where we stand. There have 
been several disappearances from the miller's brood of ducklings 
this last spring, and he avers, although he has not seen an otter 
about his meadows for some months past, that * it's them otters 
what has took 'em.* When the Master heard the story from th^ 
lips of the miller, he is said to have remarked, ' Rats ! ' though 

Hunting the Otter. 277 

nobody knows whether he meant it literally or otherwise. Any- 
how, he has decided to accede to the old man's request, and to 
draw the thick beds of reeds and rushes that abound hereabouts 
on the chance of finding the marauder. 

Meanwhile, as we talk, other members of the field have been 
coming up by twos and threes, some on foot, some on bicycles, 
one or two driving, including the Master's wife and daughter, 
looking very spick and span in tailor-made costumes of the hunt 
livery, dark green cloth with white facings; and last, but not 
least, the aged Squire of the parish, mounted on his grey cob. 
Never was there a keener sportsman than he, and he bears his 
three-score years and ten as well as the old grey carries thirteen 
solid stone of avoirdupois upon her thick-set back. The Squire 
will see what he can of the fun from the road, which never 
wanders far from the stream all alongthe valley. And now for 
a start ! 

The Master gives one short blast on his horn to collect his 
wandering pack, several of whom, eager for the fray, have been 
investigating the rushes that fringe the water's edge by the 
ancient bridge. Away we go, over the stile and along the 
footpath towards the mill, the hounds spread-eagling all over 
the field, and whimpering with the joy of freedom in exchange 
for the stern discipline of kennel life. Before we reach the mill, 
old Master Jonas comes hobbling along to greet us with the 
welcome tidings that he's * seen 'im not half an hour ago, wi' one 
of my ducklin's in his mouf,' and straightway he takes us to the 
very spot. There, sure enough, in the soft mud by the water's 
edge, are the marks of the otter's pads, and a fine big fellow he 
certainly is by the look of his footprints. The Master's cheery 
and musical voice rings out on the still morning air, and there 
is breathless silence as hounds are laid on and disappear one 
after the other into the thick forest of rushes. But the scent is 
stale, and not one of them can own it yet. 

Some minutes pass by, and not a whimper is to be heard, 
but Brooker, the \yhip, who knows the ways of otters as well as 
most men living, says that we shall pick up the trail on the 
other bank. So hounds are lifted to the other side, some of the 
•field wading across the stream, which runs swiftly here, and is 
nearly waist-deep in places. There is a bed of osiers a stone's 
throw from the main stream at the end of a tiny backwater, and 
the Master decides to try this first as a likely spot before pro- 
ceeding further down-stream. Nor is he far wrong in his 

278 Hunting the Otter. 

judgment, for hardly have hounds disappeared among the thick 
cover of the undergrowth, where marsh marigolds and a host of 
other water-loving plants grow in wild profusion, than old 
Rambler, veteran of the pack, lifts his melodious voice, and a 
merry response from the Master's horn signifies that they have 

In a moment the other members of the pack have rushed 
madly through the undergrowth to the summons of their leader, 
and before one has time to realise that the sport has begun, they 
are racing away along the further bank of the backwater in the 
direction of the main stream, the whole valley ringing from end 
to end with the music of many tongues. Those who stayed on 
the other side of the water are in the best position now, and the 
frantic waving of the arms of the feminine portion of the field 
denotes the fact that the quarry has been viewed. Old Jonas is 
beside himself with excitement, and would doubtless have had an 
apoplectic fit on the spot, had he not at the critical moment slipped 
down the treacherous bank into the water. With some diflSculty, 
owing to the fact that the flour on his garments turned imme- 
diately to paste, he is hauled out, his ardour a little cooled ; but 
his determination to stay and see the fun, wet through as he is, 
and a martyr to * the rheumatics,' is not to be shaken by well- 
meant advice. 

Meanwhile, hounds are streaming on through the rushes on a 
burning trail, but a check which presently occurs at a bend of 
the stream gives every one a chance of coming up with them 
once more. This otter that they are hunting is no novice at the 
game, for as soon as he found himself hotly pursued, he evidently 
dived into the stream to thwart his pursuers, and so gain valuable 
time. These clever tactics on the part of the quarry delay the 
hunt hereabouts for some twenty minutes ; but at length a 
whimper from Music, a promising puppy hunting only for the 
second time in her life, causes the rest of the pack to investigate 
in her direction and confirm her announcement of the recovered 

Some pretty, though rather slow, hunting follows, for the 
otter has repeatedly taken to the water and left it again on the 
other side. The stream in this part is almost overgrown with 
rushes and water-weeds, and at the end of an hour hounds have 
only traversed half a mile. Then, all of a sudden, as a more 
open piece of water is reached, there is a tremendous burst of 
music as the otter, not a dozen yards in front of the pack, breaks 

Hunters and Repositories, 279 

cover and crosses the stream in full view of the whole field. It is 
an exciting moment, and for a few seconds the otter's fate hangs 
in the balance. 

But he is too expert a swimmer to be caught on this occasion, 
and with one mighty dive he gains the opposite fringe of rushes 
and disappears among them in the direction of an ancient willow 
that overhangs the stream. Hounds are in hot pursuit, but the 
otter has gained his holt beneath the willow*s roots, and as he 
has given a game hunt and hounds are tired, the Master gives 
the word for home. 

Old Jonas is keenly disappointed at the escape of the * old 
varmint,' but the Master promises to try again a week later — an 
arrangement which, backed up by half-a-sovereign ' head money ' 
for the murdered ducks, allays, for the time being, the old man's 
thirst for the blood of his amphibious enemy. 


By G. H. Jalland. 

j|HIS short article does not aspire to be of service 
to those well acquainted with the methods of 
procedure at these equine marts, or to be capable 
of imparting any * tips ' they are not already fully cog- 
nisant of. It is to the occasional buyer, who, unfamiliar with horse 
auctions, fears the possible but unknown risks of trading *at 
the block/ that the following hints may prove of some benefit. 
The great development of horse sales is comparatively of recent 
date. Formerly, if a man wanted to be rid of a screw he 
sent it to an auction ; but when a genuine animal was for disposal, 
it generally found its way into one of the important horse fairs, 
which, in those days, were the recognised mediums for the sale 
or acquisition of high-class horses. The auctions, with certain 
exceptions, were not in high repute or favour with the horse 
world, and a horse known to have been purchased at a reposi- 
tory bore a taint that was difficult to obliterate. Nowadays 
precisely the opposite conditions prevail : for the screws go 
to the fairs, which are yearly growing of less and less importance. 


280 Hunters ajid Repositories, 

and are sold for life for what they will bring, and the genuine 
horses appear at the repositories, where the seller gives a hard-' 
and-fast guarantee, varying in degree, as to the qualifications 
and soundness of the animal he is disposing of. 

This modern growth of the horse repository is most re- 
markable, and at certain seasons of the year the number of 
animals which change hands under the hammer in all parts 
of the country is prodigious. London, of course, has had its 
horse sales for long years ; but now Leicester, Crewe, Liverpool, 
York, Rugby, Cheltenham, Swindon, and numerous other towns 
and cities have their regular auctions, where thousands of horses 
are annually disposed of. 

Now to compare the two methods of buying and selling 
horses. We will first take the fair. A buyer visiting one of 
these chartered institutions sees a horse that takes his fancy 
in the hands of a complete stranger. After a trial, and possibly 
an examination by a vet. (usually under unsuitable conditions), 
he completes the purchase and takes the horse home. Next 
day, or the day after that, the animal may turn out to be 
anything but as described or warranted by the late owner — 
unsound, vicious, or diseased. But the unlucky buyer — unless, 
of course, he has bought from a responsible man — has no means 
of returning the horse or regaining possession of his money ; he 
must make the best of a bad bargain. Then, in the case of a 
seller at a fair, he often has to take the risk of a worthless 

On the other hand, either party should be absolutely safe at 
a repository. There one is dealing, not with a private indivi- 
dual, whose sole means of livelihood consists of ill-gotten gains 
derived from shady horse transactions, but with a reputable 
firm of auctioneers, whose object is to do their best impartially 
for both buyer and seller, and whose conditions of sale are 
framed in such a way as to compel fair dealing. Undoubtedly 
many cases occur at these yards where buyers have been 
swindled, but more often than not they have only themselves 
to blame. Forty-eight hours are generally allowed to the 
purchaser in which he may discover the faults and failings 
of his horse, and if they prove of a nature covered by the 
seller's warranty, he can send the animal back without more 
ado, with the certainty his money will be returned if he is in the 

To the unaccustomed visitor, horse repositories are be- 


Hunters and Repositories. 281 

wildering, and it is most imperative that a clear idea of what 
the buyer requires should be firmly fixed in his mind before 
entering. A friend of the writer once attended a sale for the 
express purpose of buying a pony for his wife to drive. She 
was not a little surprised, and no less disgusted, to see him 
returning home with a giraffe of a horse, 17-2 h.h. * It was so 
absurdly cheap, I had to buy it,* he said. But nothing is cheap 
if it's no use to you, least of all a food-consuming horse, as 
my friend found to his sorrow before he could find a buyer to 
relieve him of his * bargain.' But one is horribly tempted occa- 
sionally to put in a bid for a horse, even one you have not tried, 
or even noticed, as it stood amongst scores of others in their 
stalls. You see a grand sort of beast going for a few pounds ; 
in the distance his legs look all right, and he certainly appears 
to move well. So maybe even without a hurried glance at your 
catalogue, and hardly having heard the description read out by 
the auctioneer, you shout a guinea advance. Down comes the 
hammer, and it's a thousand to one you are the owner of a 
horse that is no use to you. True, extraordinary bargains have 
occasionally been picked up in this way, but, like betting, one 
hears a good deal about the winnings, but precious little 
concerning the losses. It is far better to make a hard-and-fast 
rule never to bid for an animal seen for the first time as he goes 
prancing up to the rostrum. Remember, a horse never looks 
better or more tempting than when shown off by a clever runner 
in the restricted space of a repository * run-up.* The seller of a 
good horse generally takes precious good care his animal shall 
not be given away, by placing a protecting reserve, and in the 
odd cases where a decent animal is sent to be disposed of for 
what it will make, you may be absolutely certain the regular 
attendants at these yards, and the numerous touts, will have 
spotted the bargain, and no outsider will be allowed to have a 
finger in the pie unless he is prepared to bid up to the full 
market value of the horse in question. It is far more satisfactory 
to make up your mind to pay a fair price for what you want, 
and set aside all ideas of being able to pick up a hundred- 
pound horse for thirty. You may do it, but the chances are 
you won't. Then, you should read the conditions carefully 
(they vary somewhat at the different yards), and the 
catalogue most carefully; the latter is full of pitfalls for 
the unsuspecting buyer, though to the experienced eye an 
open book. 

282 Hunters and Repositories. 

Take, for instance, the following description : * Lot 18. Bay 
gelding, 6 yrs., 16 h.h., by Osprey dam by Pilgrim. A 
remarkable horse over a country ; carried owner brilliantly last 
season in Leicestershire ; has won races ; is sold for no fault, 
and can be highly recommended.* Now that sounds like a 
really desirable horse, but if you refer to the conditions of sale 
you will find the seller has avoided making a single statement 
that can be interpreted as the smallest guarantee. The horse 
may be twenty years old, fifteen hands high, blind, wrong 
in his wind, lame on every leg, have a cast-iron mouth, and 
possess numerous other undesirable qualifications ; but when he 
is once knocked down to you, you must take him willy-nilly, 
and there's no sending him back either. An alluring descrip- 
tion such as this may mean practically nothing in the way 
of a warranty, and, unless you happen to know that the seller is 
^n honest man, it should be discounted entirely. 

On the other hand, a brief * Lot 64. Brown gelding ; good 
hunter ; good hack,' may mean nearly everything, particularly 
if the small but important word * sound ' is added. Anyhow, 
*good hunter' means the horse must be sound in wind and 
eyes ; he must have been hunted, and be capable of being 
hunted ; he must not be bad to ride, or be a chronic refuser ; 
and * good hack ' means that he must, in addition to being quiet 
to ride, be sound in action. Of course, if * sound ' is included, 
he must also be able to pass a vet's examination. But most 
-sellers are shy of this addition, not necessarily because they fear 
their animals are unsound, but owing to the fact that there 
lare vets, and vets., many members of this most estimable 
and learned profession being given to a greater excess of con- 
scientiousness than the occasion warrants, and will not hesitate 
to cast a good horse for a trifle that a more practical man 
would ignore ; such, for instance, as a splint fully formed and in 
a safe position, a pair of coarse but sound hocks, or a hunting- 
bump or two. 

Many buyers would not object to bid for a good stamp of 
horse described merely as * a good hunter.' It seems rather a 
mistake that it has never yet been fully determined and ex- 
pressly stated in the conditions of sale what the term 'good 
hunter' covers. By some it is held that a lame horse should not 
be sold with this guarantee, and they would not hesitate to 
return such a one had they inadvertently purchased it. On the 
other hand, it is also contended that a lame horse can be sold 

Hunters and Repositories. 283 

with the warranty 'good hunter/ for they argue that a horse 
may be lame, and still, in the words of the conditions, *be 
capable of being hunted/ It is perfectly true that many 
chronically lame hunters are * nailers * over a country ; animals 
with sidebones, spavins, navicular and other ailments are to be 
found capable of giving the sound ones the * go-by,* and doing 
their work for years. However, it would be an excellent thing 
for buyers if this point was made clear, for at present it resolves 
itself entirely into a question of veterinary opinion, and this is 
as likely to go one way as the other. Of course, there cannot 
be two opinions about a horse really badly lame, for such a one 
is clearly incapable of being hunted at all. Another matter 
that should be cleared up at all repositories is* that relating 
to a * grunter ' sold as a * good hunter.' Some contend that a 
horse which grunts at the stick, or when he is jumping, may at 
the same time be absolutely sound in his wind ; but others 
arg^e a horse found to be a * grunter,' that has been bought as 
a *good hunter,' should be returned, claiming that the affection 
is due to unsoundness of wind. Veterinary opinion is divided 
on this subject also, and it would be far more satisfactory if 
all repositories made a clear statement on the subject in their 
conditions. It would also save occasional disputes if a clause 
relating to * v/ind-suckers ' and ' crib-biters ' was added, clearly 
stating if such animals can or cannot be sold as 'sound* (Messrs. 
Tattersall have cut the word altogether out of their catalogues, 
and refuse to sell a horse as 'sound*), for there are those who 
say th jse vices are only tricks, but others that a horse to have 
developed them must be unsound. 

When buying at auction, it is naturally desirable to know 
something of the animals before seeing them in the sale-yard, 
but it is impossible to make this a sine qud noHy or one would 
often, when wanting a horse, have to wait a long time before it 
happened that friends or acquaintances were disposing of their 
studs. Supposing, then, you are visiting a yard, and after 
looking through the catalogue you find the names of the sellers 
are all unfamiliar to you, and you have only the descriptions 
given and the repository trial to help you in your choice, you 
cannot be too cautious in your method. Rely on very little but 
what you can form an opinion upon for yourself, and from 
the wording of the description. Grooms are often somewhat 
prone to enlarge on the good qualities of a brute they are 
anxious to get out of their stable ; and (be it whispered) titled 

284 Hunters and Repositories. 

owners, and even M.F.H/s, have been known to exaggerate in 
a like case. 

* The property of a gentleman ' is often the only designation 
given by a seller in the catalogue. It is not denied genuine 
horses are sold with this heading, but it is just as well to r^ard 
with a certain amount of suspicion all animals thus entered, or 
at least until it is discovered from what source they come. 
Should it be found this information cannot be obtained, it 
is wise to let them alone. * The property of a gentleman' may 
hide the identity of a reliable man, who simply has an objection 
to seeing his name in the catalogue ; or it may shelter one of 
unenviable reputation, or an owner anxious to be rid of a 
brute to which he would be unwilling to have his name attached. 
It may be taken as a broad rule that more screws arc sold under 
this label than honest horses. 

One never realises what a large number of people exist who 
are willing to * buy a pig in a poke,* till a repository has been 
studied. If a buyer goes to a dealer, he sees the selected 
animal ridden, he usually rides it himself, invariably a vet. is em- 
ployed, and as often as not a week's trial at home is requested. 
But at most of the sale- yards the space allotted for the purpose 
of trying the horses is so restricted that it is almost impossible 
to form a definite opinion concerning their capabilities, even if 
the seller allows you to make the most of the opportunity 
afforded. Worse still are the cases where, at the end of the de- 
scription, are found the words, * Not to be ridden at the reposi- 
tory.' One would imagine such horses could only be bid for and 
bought by people well acquainted with the animals — but nothing 
of the sort, for if the seller happens to be a man well known to 
hounds, absolute strangers to both him and the horses will not 
hesitate to bid heavily in the three figures for animals which 
carry but the smallest possible guarantee, and of which they have 
only had the briefest of trials — a five-and-twenty yard run in 
hand — and for all the purchaser may know to the contrary, are 
utterly unsuited, in mouth, manners, and performance, to his 

This is all very well for the man that can afford it, and is 
willing to lose heavily on those horses he finds afterwards are 
not what he wants ; but the buyer of limited means cannot take 
these risks, and unless a ride can be had, restricted and un- 
satisfactory as it must of necessity be, he is wise to look else- 
where. * Not to be ridden ' may be merely an owner's natural 

Hunters and Repositories, 285 

objection to running the risk of having his animals messed about 
by horsemen of possibly indifferent skill ; but on the other hand, 
this embargo is most useful to a seller desirous of hiding the 
fact that his goods are hard pullers, bad stumblers, hot, excitable 
horses, one-sided in their mouths, or possess other attainments 
that are best not advertised. 

Then it is a good plan, when you have made up your mind 
to bid, if you place yourself well within hearing of the 
auctioneer ; for the horses are sold according to the descriptions 
finally given out from the rostrum, and though these usually tally 
with the catalogue, yet occasionally a seller will change a 
guarantee after the catalogue has been printed ; maybe 
strengthening the warranty, or possibly removing it altogether. 
At most places, when alteration has taken place, a notice is dis- 
played whilst the lot is being sold ; but one unfamiliar with the 
methods might easily overlook this, and the safest plan is to keep 
within easy hearing. 

You should decide in your own mind the limit you are pre- 
pared to bid up to for any particular horse ; one is apt in the 
excitement of a spirited contest to get carried away, and offer 
far more than you would have done in cooler moments ; the 
auctioneer, too, is all the better pleased if he can induce his 
audience to advance the biddings by tens or twenties, and the 
price soon mounts up. If you do not feel competent to *go 
through ' a horse yourself, it is a good plan, as a preliminary, to 
discover a reliable vet. (there are usually several on hand in the 
yards) : when, as soon as you have made a purchase, you can in- 
struct your man to determine then and there if it answers to the 
catalogue warranty. If he is satisfied so much the better, and 
you can send the animal away to your stables. But it is not 
always safe to be fully content with a satisfactory examination 
on the day of sale. Horses are sometimes * readied * for these 
sales, and it is a proved fact that even a pronounced whistler can 
be * doped,' and made for the time being so apparently sound in 
wind as to deceive the most capable of vets. Various other 
unsoundnesses or defects may come to light after twenty- four 
hours, and so be on the safe side. It is far better you should 
discover these little things before the time has expired during 
which you have the right to return your unlucky purchase, than 
to have a useless brute thrown on your hands. 

Selling screws * at the block ' has been brought to a fine art 
by certain individuals, and woe be to the unfortunate novice who 

286 Hunters and Repositories. 

becomes entangled in their nets. They will send up a stud of a 
dozen or so, rare good-looking ones, but for the most part un- 
sound, patched up, or vicious brutes. They stand in their stalls, 
trimmed and barbered to perfection, wearing the smartest of 
clothing. Pedigrees, for the most part entirely fictitious, are 
attached to their high-sounding names ; characters of an attrac- 
tive description are allotted to them one and all ; almost invariably 
the words * can be highly recommended ' are added. The stable 
lads are smart showmen, up to every trick and dodge of their 
trade ; and the master commands a flow of rhetoric that a prime 
minister might envy. Unsuspecting buyers are attracted by the 
well-turned-out stud, and probably they swallow a considerable 
proportion of the owner's laudatory praises. They are induced 
to bid ; but the catalogue description, carefully worded by the 
astute seller, rarely leaves an available loophole whereby the 
victim can return his disappointing purchase and cry off his 
bargain. - 

It is a common trick with these dealers, when they have an 
animal to which they have given in the catalogue a description 
on which the lot could without question be returned — such as a 
pronounced whistler or one blind of an eye sold as *a good 
hunter* — to arrange with a victim to sell him the horse privately, 
either before the sale or afterwards, when the lot is purposely 
bought in. The transaction is made * outside the yard,' and not 
with the knowledge of, or through the oflSce of, the auctioneer. 
The seller points out this is to the advantage of the buyer, a$ 
the horse can be sold for so much less, the auctioneer's heavy 
commission being saved. But it does not occur to the deluded 
purchaser till after he has got this new addition to his stables 
home, and found it anything but what he hoped and anticipated, 
that he has cut his own cable, and lost the value of the catalogue 
guarantee by thus dealing without the cognisance and protection 
of the auctioneer. Buyers should insist upon paying through 
the office when purchasing a * bought-in ' horse after the sale is 
over : by so doing they retain the catalogue guarantee precisely 
the same as if they had bought under the hammer. That 
buying unknown horses at auction is hardly the work for one 
unversed in repository methods, or a beginner ignorant of the 
rudiments of the profession and science of horse-coping, will be 
gathered from the foregoing. At the same time, if due pre- 
cautions are taken, there is really no reason why anybody with 
an eye for a horse should not be able to secure an animal that 

Salmon Studies. 287 

would prove suitable for the purpose for which it was purchased ; 
at the same time he certainly runs the risk of getting: a wrong 'un. 
It is probably this sporting chance that induces men to prefer 
the sale-yard to buying from a respectable dealer, though the 
latter is of course far safer, and possibly only slightly more 


By J. R. Roberts. 

CALL the following observations * studies * for two 
reasons : first, because they are largely based upon 
personal observation and experience ; and secondly, 
because a sporting writer, addressing sporting 
readers, must never forget that the latter are also possessed of 
observation and experience. 

These are studies then — careful and thoughtful studies — 
certainly not lectures or sermons, or anything else approaching 
the didactic or pedagogic. The fact is, the writer, nearly always 
living, throughout many years, on the banks of one or other 
salmon river, and being keenly devoted to fish and fishing, has 
been so blessed as to have enjoyed somewhat unusual opportu- 
nities of noting the habits of the king of fresh-water fishes. 

Most of us have been reading, and some of us have been 
writing, about the salmon for some years past, and other readers 
and writers were similarly engaged in the old time before us. 
Books, pamphlets, brochures, and magazine and newspaper 
articles on the salmon and its capture would form a handsome and 
extensive library, and yet most of the matter in question, mainly 
speculative, is now merely waste paper. We have thought, and 
surmised, and guessed, and romanced about the habits of the 
salmon, without sufficient practical experiment or reliable data 
— so difficult to obtain — and now several great problems appear 
to be solved satisfactorily ; for the present, at least, if not for all 
time. Let us summarise the results of some recent investi- 
gations and discoveries, largely the result of the experiments of 
Mr. W. L. Calderwood, Inspector of Salmon Fisheries in 
Scotland, of which a full report appeared in the Times of 
August 1st, 1907. 

288 Salmon Studies. 

We begin with the life-history of the king of fresh-water 
fishes. There are those precisians who demur to the description 
of the salmon as a fresh-water fish, seeing that he spends so 
much time in salt water ; nevertheless, the title seems to be 
generally beyond dispute. Salmon are natives of fresh water — 
born from ova which are killed by immersion in salt water: 
they spend their infancy and childhood in the fresh water, some, 
perhaps half, of the smolts migrating seaward at the age of 
twelve or fifteen months, the remainder delaying the trip till 
they are twenty-four to twenty-seven months old ; but it is 
no more than a trip. The young fish return mostly, it has been 
ascertained, to the river of their birth, vastly increased in size 
hy the abundant food they have found and assimilated in the 
sea, and once more at home in the natal stream, they proceed to 
multiply their kind according to the kindly disposition of 

Until comparatively recently, much uncertainty prevailed as 
to the duration of their absence from the rivers, many old fisher- 
men maintained stoutly that the smolts, descending in spring, 
returned as grilse in summer and autumn ; nor did there exist 
any means of disproving that belief. Direct evidence was 
provided some time ago through the systematic marking ex- 
periments conducted under direction of Mr. Calderwood, 
whereof the results have been so decisive as to carry our 
knowledge of salmon movement far beyond the point previously 

The aforesaid old fishermen were as unreliable as they were 
credulous ; their ichthyological lore was too often on a par with 
that of their wonder-loving parent — dear old Father Izaak of 
revered memory. For instance, as I write I have before me 
a great mass of printed matter bearing date variously from 
1830 to 1845, discussing the question whether the parr, rack- 
rider, lastspring, fingerling, &c., be or be not a young salmon ; 
the vast bulk of the evidence (save the mark !) tending to show 
that the parr is a distinct salmonoid species! Even Couch 
maintained this, whilst Giinther (to his honour) wrote that *the 
immature parr are undoubtedly young salmon.* The importance 
of all this lies in the fact that so long as parr were held to be 
distinct from salmon, they were wastefully destroyed in vast 
mumbers, each slaughtered innocent representing a possible 
Salmo salar of fifty-pounder dimensions. However, as Molitrc 
says, *It was once so, but now we have changed all that* — or 

Salmon Studies. 289 

-at least we have tried to change it by means of legislation and 
conservatorial supervision. 

To proceed, and to quote further from the Times article 
mentioned above : ' A controversy has long been waged, and of 
late years has become hotter, as to whether salmon feed in fresh 
water. That they do not do so, in the sense of taking or re- 
quiring nourishment, is the firm belief of the present writer, 
founded not only upon many years of his own close observation 
of the habits of the fish, but also upon the examination by 
experts of the stomachs and intestines of hundreds of salmon 
taken in rivers/ Why, then, does a salmon seize our fly ? Why 
-does the bull-terrier worry a piece of rag ? The answer is : 
instinct, predaciousness, cussedness — the nature of the animal. 

A salmon may seize and swallow, though it is doubtful 
whether it can digest, edible objects floating in a river ; but then 
it must be considered that, if nutriment were required for so 
large a fish,Jt must be had in such abundance as no salmon- 
river can supply. Just think of the number of flies which, we all 
know, a small trout of, say, | lb., will take down in the course 
of a summer's evening, and then try to estimate the mass of 
entomological matter which would be required by only one 
30 lb. salmon, hourly, daily, weekly, throughout several months, 
and then multiply by millions. 

No; salmon resort to the sea for food, and re-enter fresh 
water with their bodies so well stuffed with nutriment, and 
furnished with supplies of fat, that they can assimilate no more, 
and are prepared for long periods of total, or nearly total, absti- 
nence. Tit-bits they may mouthy snacks they may take, but 
not a square meal. Mr. Abel Chapman has put the case fairly, 
in a few vigorous strokes in his Wild Nonvay : — 

' If there are those who still hold that salmon " feed " while 
in fresh water, let them consider what that hypothesis involves, 
Salmon ascend favourite streams in shoals ; they are by nature 

rapacious and voracious What is there in any river to 

satisfy hundreds of such appetites ? If they require to be so 
satisfied, a single week's ravages would clear out every living 

thing in the water Every trout, smolt, and eel, every 

duck, moorhen, and water-rat would speedily be swept up. In 
a week, small boys would hardly be safe.' 

And Mr. F. G. Shaw has recently written, in the second 
edition of his Science of Dry Fly Fishing, advancing the theory 
that it is merely instinctive desire to destroy whatever may 

290 Salmon Studies. 

endanger the existence of their ova which makes salmon seize 
all moving objects they encounter prior to spawning; but nothing 
is said about kelts, I think. 

But beside the foregoing, our salmon studies include many 
other problems for consideration which have engaged the atten- 
tion of most of us, at one time or other. Granting that, in 
running at our bait, or rising at our fly, the fish is not actually 
hungry, why does he behave so differently at different times and 
seasons? Why * sport* sometimes and not at others? And 
why, when hooked, behave so variedly on various occasions? 
Before essaying to answer, tentatively, some of these questions, 
let us visit the river together, rod in hand, and observe some 
salmonic vagaries. 

Sometimes we find a gaudy fly the most tempting, and at 
others a sombre-hued lure ; now a large fly, and presently a 
small one. Generally, but by no means invariably, these varia- 
tions, both as to size and colour, are dependent upon whether 
the water be low or voluminous, and whether it be bright or 
coloured, as also upon the presence or absence of sunlight, and 
the state of the atmosphere. How to act under these varying 
conditions is laid down in books, and is known to all practised 
salmon anglers. 

Again, sometimes the fish will rise freely, whilst at others 
they will not be tempted at all, though they be tried with all 
sorts and sizes of flies ; with spoons and other spinning baits, 
and with living lures. Sometimes (as happened this autumn in 
Scotland) a monster fish — a 60-pounder — is taken with a worm. 
From this last example there are those who will argue that the 
salmon does (at least occasionally) feed in fresh water. 

And sometimes our quarry, when risen and hooked, is 
played and killed with comparative ease. Sometimes it fights 
strenuously, yet fairly. Sometimes it meanly tries to entangle 
the line round a rock, or, worse still, goes to ground. These 
underhand manoeuvres are usually displayed by autumn fish ; 
spring salmon, forgetting former experiences and wiles, after a 
trip to sea, seldom putting them into operation. / 

When a fish does sulk and go to ground, it does not remain 
at the bottom of the river in a horizontal position, but stands on 
its head, maintaining its position by its waving, oscillating tail, 
and is to be moved (if moved) by what is known as the * boating* 
trick — by putting on a lateral strain. 

On the river, then. You arc on your favourite stream, which 

Salmon Studies. 291 

has been recently flushed, insomuch that fish are running up in 
scores and hundreds. Wind, weather, and water are apparently 
right. Hope animates your breast, and your attendant is full 
of spirit (animal, not artificial). You fish the first pool, properly 
and thoroughly, yet move not a fin, although you put up and 
put forth, successively, a Dusty Miller, a Durham Ranger, and a 
Jock Scott. The second pool, undoubtedly containing salmon^ 
is tried with the same flies, plus a Fairy, a Parson, and a Silver 
Doctor, with a similar result. Coming to the third pool, the 
jubilant vassal, now less spirited, suggests a Spey Dog, then 
a Judge, and then a Butcher. They are all tried, and all to no 

You decide to give them a rest (although, surely, they cannot 
be weary ?), and whilst they and you are resting, your friend in 
the background comes to the front, and requests to be allowed 
to have a throw. With an indulgent, pitying smile you hand 
him the rod, saying to yourself, * If I can't shift them, is it likely 
he can ? ' for your brother-sportsman is neither very clever nor 
very experienced as regards salmon-fishing. 

He inquires, * What fly ? * 

* Oh, anything ! ' you reply ; whereupon the attendant, with a 
weary, scornful look, ties on a Thunder and Lightning, dressed 
too large, as he considers in his njature wisdom. 

At the first cast the neophyte is fast in a fish, which 
prances down the pool, tearing out line and causing the reel 
to shriek. 

* Oh, keep him up, sir ! Mind the rocks and the cascade at 
the bottom end ! ' 

The rodman butts the fish, gets him under control, and 
persuades him to proceed upwards, which he does with a rush,. 
and with a glorious saltation, leaping high above the water. 
There are some darts and dashes across the pool, a further 
attempt (boldly stopped) to go downwards, and a considerable 
amount of fighting, throughout which the angler continues 
to get nearer and nearer to his fish. At last, patiently and 
prettily played and virtually killed, the salmon allows himself 
to be gaffed. A beautiful springer of 10 lbs. 

Thus encouraged, then you try again, casting, and casting,. 
and casting — near, far, and further ; upwards and downwards — 
but get no rise. Later, the novice takes the rod once more, 
throws the same fly (the fly which you have been employing) on 
the same pool, and hooks something massive. There is less fight 

292 Salmon Studies, 

in this fish than there was in the lesser one, and before very long 
your friend conducts to the gaff a handsome salmon scaling 
'18 lbs. 

Now, what is the explanation of all this ? Is there not here 
matter for deep and grave salmon study ? 

Pondering no more for the present the puzzles connected 
with tempting, catching, and killing salmon, let us pursue our 
studies a little in the important direction of the production and 
preservation of these kingly fish. 

It is asserted by sportsmen and men of science on the other 
side of the Atlantic that some years ago 5000 small fish ('finger- 
lings ') were released from the Clackamas Hatchery (Oregon), 
after having been marked ; that no fewer than 450 of these fish 
were secured in the second, third, and fourth years following 
their release ; and that the cost of producing and planting young 
salmon was under one dollar per 1000. 

Well, in this old country great attention has been devoted 
to the question of fish-culture, and, as regards salmon, the best 
authorities, dealing with Great Britain only, have not at all 
found such satisfactory results as have their American brothers 
or cousins. 

A correspondent of the highest repute and experience con- 
tributed to the Times of October ist, 1907, a lengthy article, 
from which I venture to extract a few paragraphs : — * Many of 
those who were originally most sanguine about the results of 
artificial propagation of salmon have been brought to most 
discouraging conclusions. . . . Gravid fish are easily taken 
and stripped of their spawn. A female fish may be counted 
upon to contain 900 ova for every pound of her total weight. 
Thus, a single twenty -pounder will supply 18,000 ova, of which, 
when deposited in the river and exposed to all the vicissitudes 
of frost, flood, and the voracity of various birds, fish, and 
insects, only a small percentage can ever reach the sea as 
smolts. . . . Then the cost has to be counted, not only on the 
actual outlay upon buildings, equipment, and labour, but the 
degree in which the natural fertility of any river must be 
impaired by disturbing fish engaged in the critical functions of 

The opinion is gaining ground among practical men of our 
islands that the money spent in securing and rearing the spawn 
of captured salmon would be far more wisely spent in securing 
for the fish easy and constant access to the head-waters (the 

Salmon Studies. 293 

crhhe) at all seasons and in protecting them when they got 
there — aye, and before and afterwards too. 

Let us finally study or contemplate the ideal salmon river, 
which must, of course,' be a river suited to salmon— a river 
which salmon are or have been wont to ascend. 

The ideal salmon river, then, is, first of all, under the control 
of able and zealous conservators, who have an able and zealous 
and sufficient body of bailiffs and watchers, the whole well 
supported by the riparian proprietors, of which the lower do 
not overlook the interests and rights of the upper and upper- 
most. Next, all nets are taken off" this river in order that fish 
may get up to spawn (and, indirectly, to be caught fairly with 
rod and line). Further, there will be provided, where requisite, 
suitable and efficient ladders and passes. Also, close time will 
be strictly observed, kelts protected, illegitimate methods put 
down, and poachers either hindered or punished. Moreover, 
all manner of beasts, birds, and fishes which prey upon either 
ova or young salmon will be kept within the smallest limits 
possible ; and all coarse fish, particularly pike, chub, and 
eels, will be periodically taken out or otherwise or anyway 

Such an ideal stream will not require any restocking, for, 
as we have already seen, the reproductiveness of salmon is 

I have in my mind's eye a certain salmon river, once of first- 
class rank, and until comparatively recently, practically salmon- 
less, which is fast approaching the unattainable ideal. Its 
rulers, in so far as they can and are allowed and can afford, 
leave little undone that they ought to do, and do nothing they 
ought not to do. Oh, that the ideal was only aimed at on all our 
salmon rivers ! 

( 294 ) 


By F. iNSKip Harrison. 

[ONSIDERING the predominance of the Eclipse 
blood, generally it is rather strange that the Tramp 
line of it, traced through Dick Andrews and Joe 
Andrews, should be practically lost to this generation 
— at any rate in this country. With five classic winners to his 
credit, including St. Giles and Dangerous (winners of the 
Derby) and Barefoot (winner of the St. Leger), as well as sons 
like Lottery, Liverpool, and Zinganee, it did, indeed, appear 
that his house stood upon a lasting foundation. Zinganee, 
though on his day the best horse in England, was an unlucky 
animal. That the Colonel and Cadland would have relegated 
him to third place in the Derby of 1828, had he been at any- 
thing like his best, is unlikely, as was proved the following year 
when he well beat both in the Ascot Gold Cup and a field 
that comprised in all the winners of five classic races. Delicate 
always, his leg eventually gave way, and he was sent to the stud. 
Proving a failure in that respect, he was exiled to America. 

Liverpool and Lottery fared best of the lot at the stud. 
Both were, curiously enough, bred alike. Lottery, born in 1820, 
was by Tramp, out of Mandane ; Liverpool, born eight years 
later, was by the same sire out of a daughter of Mandane by 
Whisker. Tramp was peculiarly fortunate in being mated with 
these two mares. To Dick Andrews, his sire, Mandane had 
already thrown an Oaks winner in Manuella, and a St. Leger 
winner in Altisidora. Therefore the chances were nearly all 
favourable to Tramp's offspring out of herself and her daughter 
by Whisker proving likewise in the first class. Liverpool's 
success at the stud does not on the surface appear particularly 
striking, as he had only one classic winner — Idas 1844 (Two 
Thousand Guineas). 

In Lanercost, however, he sired a horse much above the 
average, though his name may not be found in any of the 
classic records. Mr. Kirby, of Yorkshire, purchased him for 
3000 guineas not ;long after he had gone to the stud, and when 
in 1847 Van Tromp (St. Leger), Ellerdale, and War Eagle were 
carrying all before them, the horse's success seemed assured. 

Decadent Thoroughbred Lines. 295 

The pick of the best mares were sent to be mated with him, but 
strangely enough, his stock thereafter all showed signs of decad- 
ence, and ultimately Mr. Kirby got rid of him in a miscellaneous 
lot for 1500/. Here the line of Tramp, through Liverpool, vir- 
tually ended, and it will now be necessary to go back to Lottery 
and see how he and his descendants fared. Although Lottery sired 
a St. Leger winner in Chorister, it is through Sheet Anchor and 
the latter's son, Weatherbit, that we must look for a continuance of 
the line. Weatherbit was out of the Oaks winner. Miss Letty, 
and both his sire and dam were members of the No. 12 family. 
His son, Beadsman, was out of another winner of the Oaks, to 
wit, Mendicant. This mare Sir Joseph Hawley purchased from 
John Gully, for what was then considered the large sum of 
3000/. When, however, she was mated with Weatherbit and 
produced a Derby winner to him in Beadsman, criticism was 
perforce stifled. Mendicant's dam, Lady Moore Carew, could 
stretch her legs to some purpose on the racecourse herself. She 
was a daughter of Tramp, the great-grandsire of Weatherbit, and 
it was this judicious inbreeding, I fancy, that made Beadsman 
I he first-class racehorse he was. 

Beadsman's success at the stud was remarkable. Blue 
Gown (Derby), Pero Gomez (St. Leger), Rosicrucian, The 
Palmer, and Green Sleeve were children of his whose names are 
still well remembered to this day. The pick of these probably 
was Rosicrucian, for when Blue Gown beat him pointless in 
the Derby the other had by no means recovered from the effects 
of the influenza which had attacked him the previous winter. 
Rosicrucian was bred to be a good horse. Even the most 
cursory inspection of his pedigree shows it. Look how 
marvellously his grand-darn. Diversion (dam of an Oaks winner 
in Miami) was inbred. She was by a grandson out of a grand- 
daughter of Little Folly. Moreover, her grandsire. Whalebone, 
was an own brother to her maternal grandsire's dam, Web. There 
was more of the latter blood brought in when Diversion was mated 
with Cowl, and produced Madame Eglantine, Rosicrucian's dam. 
Cowl's paternal grand-dam, Cobweb, was by Phantom, out of a 
daughter of Web ; Diversion's maternal grandsire, Middleton, 
was by Phantom out of Web. An examination of the whole 
of Rosicrucian's pedigree shows that the sisters, Eleanor, 
Cressida, and Julia, appear no fewer than five times in it. This 
inbreeding must have tended to greatness, as Muley, Priam, 
and Phantom were respectively sons of these mares. 

296 Decadent Thoroughbred Lines. 

Rosicrucian, when sent to the stud, speedily developed into 
one of the most fashionable sires of the day, but unfortunately his 
blood seemed to run in the female channels, and only a few 
moderate representatives of his line are standing in England 
at the present time. The Palmer, an elder brother of 
Rosicrucian, though useful, was never in the same class, and was 
exiled to Germany, as was also the Derby winner, Blue Gown. 
Pero Gomez won the St. Leger, and was unlucky not to have 
taken the Derby also, but though he sired a One Thousand 
Guineas winner in Peregrine, he did not live up to his reputation 
at the stud. Clwyd now seems to be the best representative of 
the once-powerful Beadsman line. 

The mutability of earthly things is well illustrated by a com- 
parison of the position which the Herod male line occupies at the 
present day and that of a century or so ago. No Derby winner 
has come of the Herod line since Kisber scored in 1876, and he 
was bred out of this country. On the other hand, during the 
first fifty years of its existence the Derby was won on no fewer 
than twenty occasions by Herod horses. Many things have 
tended to bring about the decadence here shown. In the first 
place Herod was a cross-bred horse himself, whilst Eclipse, who 
has gradually ousted him in this country, was very much the 
opposite ; and facts prove that inbred horses are invariable the 
more likely to transmit their merits in tail male to posterity. 
Again, Herod suffered from many of his more potent descendants 
being expatriated from the land of their birth, and with the 
blood gradually beginning to flow more freely in the female 
channels the final blow at its prosperity was struck. Yet, strange 
to say, the blood is very strong in tail male in other countries, 
though even there Eclipse blood is gradually gaining the pre- 

Herod was bred by the Duke of Cumberland, and it is 
through his two sons, Woodpecker and Highflyer, the blood has 
come down to us to this day. The first Derby winner, Diomed, 
was a grandson of Herod by another son, Florizel, but was 
exiled to America. Highflyer's line was carried on by his son. 
Sir Peter, who was bred by the twelfth Earl of Derby; he was 
easily superior to the rest of his generation, and carried off the 
* Blue Riband ' of 1787. Had his noble owner thought more of 
money than the sport, Sir Peter would have followed in the 
footsteps of Diomed, and gone to America, but happily the offer 
of 7000 guineas from a breeder in that country was emphatically 

Decadent Thoroughbred Lines. 297 

declined. Sir Peter sired no fewer than ten classic winners, but, 
strangely enough, Walton, the founder of the Sweetnieat family, 
and Sir Paul, of the Wild Dayrell family, were not of the list. 
Sweetmeat sired Macaroni and Parmesan, and the latter in turn 
got Cremorne (regarded as one of the best horses of the latter 
half of the nineteenth century) and Favonius. With such as 
these to represent it, the Sweetmeat family seemed reasonably 
strong enough, but Cremorne proved a failure at the stud. 
Favonius stood and fell with the moderate Sir Bevys, and 
Macaroni displayed a fatal facility for transmitting his merits to 
his daughters rather than his sons, as is shown by the fact that 
three of his four classic winners were fillies. The Wild Dayrell 
family, tracing back through Ion, Cain, and Paulowitz, to Sir 
Paul, could boast a powerful representative in Buccaneer ; but 
Hungarian money tempted him to the Continent, and the doom 
of the line was thenceforth practically sealed in this country, 
although with such representatives as Dinna Forget, Comfrey, 
&c., it is by no means extinct y^t. Indeed, it holds a far more 
powerful position in this country than either the Pantaloon or 
Sultan branches of the Herod line, which apparently can never 
be revived here unless by importations from France, where the 
blood in tail male is extremely plentiful and flourishing. 

Pantaloon and Sultan were descended from Herod through 
his son Woodpecker. The latter, out of a mare called Mis- 
fortune, got Buzzard, the sire of that wonderful trio of brothers, 
Rubens, Selim, and Castrel, as well as of a sister, a winner of 
the Oaks, in Bronze. The dam of this quartette was an 
Alexander mare, and though it is rather difficult to explain why 
the combination of her blood with that of Buzzard should have 
had such marvellous results, possibly it was the inbreeding 
between the half-brothers, Woodpecker and Highflyer, that 
most materially helped. Rubens was personally responsible for 
three classic winners, but his line lost potency with age. Castrel 
on the other hand had no classic winners, but he sired Pantaloon 
out of Idalia. 

Pantaloon got Windhound out of Phrynne, an own sister to 
the Two Thousand Guineas winner, Flatcatcher. Windhound 
had the good fortune to be mated with the famous marc, 
Alice Hawthorne, and the result of their alliance was Thor- 
manby, who for stamina and gameness proved the equal of his 
dam. He won the Derby in a canter, although the previous 
year he had been put through the mill in such merciless 

208 Decadent Thoroughbred Lines. 

fashion as to have experienced enough to sour any horse. 
Thormanby, though he headed the winning list of sires in 
1869, did not prove as great a success at the stud as was 
anticipated. His best son, Atlantic, was unfortunately ex- 
patriated to France, and those left behind proved incapable of 
bearing the responsibilities entrusted to them here. Atlantic 
was out of the One Thonsand Guineas winner, Hurricane, 
a daughter of Wild Dayrell. He thus united the two branches 
of the Herod blood through Highflyer and Woodpecker. 
In j^Francc he was mated with Gem of Gems, and the result 
was Lc Sancy, one of the greatest French sires of modem days, 
and to whom the line mainly owes its present strong position 
there. Gem of Gems and Atlantic were perfect mates — she 
was a grand-daughter of Lady Hawthorn ; he a son of the 
latter's own brother, Thormanby. 

The Flying Dutchman blood has attained an equally 
powerful position in France to that of Thormanby, the line of 
descent being principally through Dollar and the latter s famous 
son, Upas. In England, on the contrary, it is in a very 
weak position, and only important and sustained re-importations 
from across the Channel can revive it. 

The Matchem blood, although it has periodically shown 
great powers of resuscitation, has always occupied a relatively 
weaker position than either of the other two. Melbourne and 
West Australian made it, for a time, some of the most fashion- 
able blood in England ; and then, after a decline, Barcaldine 
brought it into favour again. His force soon spent itself, and 
though now it appears to be looking up again, to a certain 
extent, it is much to be feared its days are over. West Australian 
and Barcaldine are its two great figures of modern times. The 
first-named was one of the many great horses John Scott, 
of Whitewall fame, handled. He was bred by his owner, 
Mr. Bowes, out of a mare named Modwena, his sire being 
Melbourne. Modwena was a full-sister to the Derby winner, 
Cotherstone, and half-sister to another Derby winner in Mundig. 
She was inbred in tail male through sire and dam to the No. i 
blood, of which Melbourne was also a representative. West 
Australian's trials soon proved to John Scott he had a real 
* smasher,' and anticipations were no more than realised when 
he surpassed all previous records by capturing the 'triple 

West Australian stood for some time at the stud in England, 


The Man on tfie Grey, 299 

and then passed into French hands. Considering his superfine 
breeding, and his own individual excellence, he was a failure at 
the stud. It was merely the fact of his son Solon being so 
-admirably mated with Ballyroe, and producing as a result of 
the alliance the unbeaten Irish horse, Barcaldine, that tempo- 
rarily saved the line. 

Barcaldine's pedigree was absolutely a miracle of beauty. 
His sire, Solon, was a son of a Birdcatcher mare, and Ballyroe, 
his dam, was a grand-daughter of the same mare. This in- 
breeding was bound to tell, and Barcaldine's turf record and 
success at the stud proves that it did so. He had only two 
classic winners, Mimi and Sir Visto, but his blood ran freely 
and well in the male channels ; and though it is unlikely such 
of his sons as Wolfs Crag, Marco, and Winkfield can bolster 
it up for long against the advances of the Eclipse line, still 
he temporarily saved it from utter submersion ; for the other 
line of Solon, through the St. Leger winner, Kilwarlin, has never 
looked like succeeding* 



By Miss Lilian Bland. 

SUBDUED neigh greeted my jingle of bridle and 
saddle as I crossed the yard : the little mare had her 
mouth full, and with her customary lack of manners, 
had tried to speak and eat at the same time. I 
answered her with a huntsman's screech, and saw the flash of 
steel and flying straw as she lashed out, her method of telling 
me that she was ' scraping her feet ' to be off. 

She was a pretty picture as she stood, with stiffened neck, 
head up, showing the whites of her eyes, nostrils dilated, a 
bundle of nerves and fifteen hands of faultless make and shape ; 
but, alas ! the wildest * lepper ' I had ever steered over rotten 
banks and drains. Nothing would ever teach her caution ; one 
might with difficulty walk her up to a fence, but even then she 
would still manage to rush and scramble over it. The falls she 
gave me were not, alas ! like angels* visits — few and far between ; 

3CXD The Man on the Grey. 

but she did not mind falling, if anything she rather enjoyed it, 
whilst her extraordinary speed made up easily for the loss of a 
few seconds : in Ireland we fall softly, and I must give her credit 
for generally falling on the right side of the fence. To 
continue : — 

Having successfully avoided the friendly nips of her ladyship, 
who always objected to being girthed up, I mounted, while the 
mare tried to qualify for a spinning minnow, and in another 
moment we were off, progressing in a series of bucks and 
bounds ; but she soon settled down into the low, easy stride 
which made her such a perfect hack : there was no pulling or 
stumbling, whilst mile after mile would be covered at the same 
easy pace, and the reins might hang loose on her neck. The 
meet, seven miles away, was at the cross-roads of Ballydreugh. 
overlooked by one of those picturesque old graveyards, long 
since disused, and enclosed by a crumbling stone wall, which 
allowed the cattle to stray in and keep the grass short. 

The hunt was not a fashionable pack, and none the worse 
for that, showing as they did good sport over a fine scenting 
country. The field numbered from fifteen to perhaps forty, and 
rat-catching attire was more in evidence than scarlet ; but they 
were keen sportsmen and hard riders — the times were also hard, 
and what matters the turnout } Strangers were rarely seen, and 
were regarded as curiosities to be criticised and * taken care of* 
when they did put in an appearance. Hounds were just moving 
off as we arrived, to draw a small covert of gorse and under- 
growth along the banks of a ravine. The field was of small 
dimensions, all well known to one another, and, as usual, the 
talk was of horse-coping, of the runs we had had, and the 
likelihood of sport that day. Sometimes one has to wait ages 
before a fox can be got to leave these thick gorse coverts ; but 
on the present occasion we were not kept long in doubt. An 
eager chorus rippled through the covert, the gorse shook and 
quivered, and we caught occasional glimpses of lashing stems 
and a head raised to give tongue. 

Old stagers pricked their ears, young ones grew restless, 
there was a general shuffling, cigars thrown away, hats pressed 
down firmly, girths tightened, whilst the rival factions were 
jealously * schaming * for a start. Then, with a slight rustlp of 
dead leaves, out stole an old dog-fox. In place of a brush he 
carried a short bob-tail like a sheep-dog ; he was grey with age, 
or perhaps wisdom, and he lingered a moment calmly listening 

The Man on the Grey. 301 

to the hounds in covert, and then, without any hesitation, he set 
his mask in the direction of Glenealy and slid away down the 

* Tally-ho ! gone away ! ' yelled the whip, with a blood- 
curdling scream that made one's hair stand on end with excite- 
ment, whilst horses began to kick and plunge. In another 
moment the hounds streamed out to the gay little twang of the 
master's horn ; down went their noses as they swooped and 
circled, then — * Hark to Royalty 1 Forrard — forrard ! ^ and with 
a burst of melody they flashed away on a breast-high scent. 

There was no doubt about my getting a start, for the 
mare, simply frantic, and already in a white lather of excitement, 
was off with a bound, whilst the first fence, a narrow bank and 
ditch, seemed to be racing towards us. This she flew in her 
stride without deigning to touch it, nearly dropping her legs in 
the ditch beyond, but with a lurch and scramble we were on 
again. After two or three fields she became a little more 
reasonable, although, as her custom was, she chanced every fence, 
landing now on her head, now sliding down on her tail, but 
rarely landing in a conventional attitude. 

The field by this time was a bit scattered. On my left Father 
O'Donnel, the best-turned-out man in the field, was going for 
all he was worth on his good little chestnut, with two hard- 
riding farmers jumping in his tracks ; the master, whose scarlet 
had already come into contact with a boggy drain, was two 
fields behind and riding *cute for the point ; a lady was down, 
and two men were assisting to pull her horse out of a deep 
ditch — only its head was visible ; and then suddenly 1 became 
aware of a man in front of me — a stranger riding a long-tail 
grey. If he had landed out of a flying machine I should not 
have been more surprised ; his sudden appearance was a mystery. 
At any rate he was a fine rider, and the couple slipped along 
over fields and fences without apparent effort. The pace was 
beginning to tell, and it was with relief that I saw hounds 
brought to their noses : the line had been foiled by cattle. As I 
came up with the stranger, he turned in his saddle : the brief 
glimpse I had of his face seemed to photograph itself on my 
brain with extraordinary vividness. I realised vaguely that 
there was something quaint about his general appearance, but, 
at the time, one could only notice his eyes : they were of a 
haunting sadness, and when for a brief second they met mine, 
the effect was startling. I felt as though some one had thiown 

302 The Man on the Grey, 

a bucket of ice-water over me. The next moment Harmony 
had puzzled out the line, and they were away again. 

Feeling as though I were in some horrible nightmare, I 
followed the lead of the man on the grey. Only now I watched 
him with an anxiety that was becoming horrible. We were. 
coming to a bank with a blackthorn hedge on the top ; the g^rey 
horse rose at it and flitted over, for all the world as if it had 
been a soft grey moth — not a twig stirred. A horrible suspicion 
flashed through my mind ; but no, it was too insane. Suddenly 
a thought struck me, and I leant down over the saddle, eagerly 
searching the ground for the track of his horse's hoofs ; the 
country rode very deep, and my own mare was leaving a brown 
track in the green turf, but the grey slid on and left no hoof- 
marks. I put my hand down on the saddle to steady myself, for 
the grass seemed to be going round like a whirlpool under the 
mare's feet. Suddenly she pulled up with a jerk and I slid to 
the ground. Thank goodness 1 the run was over, the old fox 
had beaten hounds into covert Jim Conolly rode up on a 
steaming youngster with * Gad, Miss, I never saw the little mare 
carry you better ; you werq giving us all the lead.' I looked 
round fearfully, but the grey and his rider had vanished ; had 
Conolly seen them } I summoned up all my courage : * Jim, it 
was the man on the long-tailed grey who was giving me the 
lead : who on earth was he ? ' Jim stared at me in blank 
astonishment : * Grey,' he kept on repeating stupidly. * No, bay,' 
I said, exasperated. 

* There was no horse in front of you,' said James, who was 
looking at me curiously. But I gave no time for further com- 
ment and made tracks home, leaving, I fear, the impression in 
Mr. Jim's mind that something more powerful than cold tea had 
been in my flask. I referred no more to the grey, and took the 
ghostly experience for a * warning ' that my premature decease 
might be expected. 

Many hunting days came and went in uneventful fashion, and 
I was sadly puzzled over my experience, when one evening I 
found a clue to the identity of my sporting ghost. I was 
casually looking over some diaries belonging to my grandfather, 
relating to the terrible year of the famine, when the potato crop 
failed entirely, and the natives were dying from starvation all 
over the country. One page black-lined arrested my attention. 
* Meet at Ballydreugh, rode Seskinore ; Master on his celebrated 
gfrey. We drew Killinch, hounds silent in covert ; the Master, 

Notes on Novelties. 303 

fearing poison, went in on foot, the hounds would not answer to 
him, and he found them gorging themselves on the body of a 
man. Hounds were taken back to the kennels and shot. " W." 
(the master), poor fellow, never recovered the shock.' A few 
days later another entry related briefly the funeral of Mr. * W.* 
at Ballydreugh graveyard, at which no priest officiated. 

One can imagine the horror of it all, his finding the hounds 
he had hunted for years for once unaccountably silent, and then 
his coming on them, guiltily crouching and snarling over the 
nameless * thing * in the undergrowth that had crept there to die 
of starvation. 

So the master still hunts ! Some of the old people I know 
have wonderful legends of a ghostly pack, that are occasionally 
heard in full cry, and I have no doubt that the grey horse and 
rider are flitting after them. But I hope sincerely that in future 
the M.F.H. will be satisfied to hunt by moonlight. 


ELOCITY is the latest addition to Messrs. Fores's 
series of coloured prints of celebrated winners, and 
is an excellent portrait of this grand horse from the 
picture painted by Mr. A. C. Havell. The artist 
has represented him with Jones up, as he appeared at the post 
for the Doncaster Cup in the company of The White Knight, 
Radium, &c., when he set the seal on his reputation by defeating 
these horses with a burden of 10 st. i lb. 

Nnvfotindlandandits Untrodden Wqys.hy]. G. Millais, F.Z.S., 
is a handsome volume by this well-known author, splendidly 
illustrated by himself, as well as by numerous interesting photo- 
graphs dealing with sport in a country which has only to be 
better known to become a happy hunting-ground for all who 
delight in the chase of wild animals and birds. Mr. Millais was 
especially privileged, with the assistance of official authority, to 
make extensive journeys and gain access to parts of the island 
outside the beaten track, and his accounts of the sport he 
enjoyed and the people with whom he came into contact make 
enthralling reading. It is published by Messrs. Longmans,. 
Green & Co. 


Notes on Novelties. 

The same publishers have issued Sir Percy FitzPatiiciAil 
volume, Jock of the Bushveld, an ideal gift-book to all lova» of 
dogs, and, indeed, to sportsmen, old and young. ' Jock ' is onft 
of the pluckiest of bull-terriers, game to tackle any and every- 
thing, and his adventures in the Veldt, admirably told as they 
are, form most entertaining reading, while the illustrations by 
Mr. Caldwell, with which every page of the book is embellished, 
add not a little to its attractiveness. 

A NEW sporting novel, entitled That Little , by Eyre 

Hussey, will delight all who have already enjoyed this author's 
former works — A Girl of Resource and Miss Badsworth^ M,F.H. ; 
while A Practical Guide to the Game Laws, by Charles Row, will 
be found a vade inecum by all shooting men, to whom a certain 
knowledge of the law relating to their sport is as essential to 
their comfort as to their peace of mind. Both these books are 
also published by Messrs. Longmans. 



TIfOUfiltJS ON HUNTlpra 


By H> J. BAtticica, 


By j^ttriKu l\ IriKVNtcic 



By* l\ iNKKif tliAhiK^ufii. 


l*y TiiVi WtiiTfi kit 


No* vae^. 

By A, Ei«i*t4J», 


By !UuPi M. V. Wvi^Ttn 


By lUMriM L* Aknou*. 


By lojt Ri)>i*tti.L. 



By Hifiifit.D AlA4;]'AKi^?f^ 


By Ff*(CK Ma^ok^ 




Mess^? Fores 4i Piccadilly. London. 



' KA&X TO 



A Set of Four 

Hand-Coloured Prints 

with grey margins. 

Size ... II X 7} inches. 
Price i63 the Set. 

Published by Messrs. FORES, 41, PICCADILLY^W. 






(A« used in the Royal 

Render:^ the Boots Soft 
Durable and Waterproot 


(White or Black), 
Cannot be equalled 
for ReooTatinK all 
kinds of Glac« Kid 
Boots and Shoes. 


The best for Cleiuiiqf 
and Polishing Russian 
and Brown Leather 
Boots, Tennis Shoes, 


l^ariciAii Poliili» 

For Vamishtng Dtmr BwMi anf 

Shoes is more ekatSe »Hl«iifer 

to use thaa any oter* 

r >jwi» ano ono es. I «c. to ttse thaa uy ooM 



By r Ittmit HAftwwJM. J 


By t^tiMMOa, ' 

itsiUNO Facts, KfKCii'S and 





By UiUAN K- 9t«Kti, 


Hi' U» A- Batn^hCK Oti,pcA. 

THE Idll^^filQ M.S.B. 

By F. G. U 

Published Quarterly nv 

Mess««Fores4I Piccadilly. London 

SiMPHin Marshall ^Cv 




Comp&mon to '^SGEPTfiE Af^D SOhtS Of H£R BACES/' by B^ms Aftiti, 
Slie, Eiclttftlva of Hu|lii, %Un* by lljlix. Price JCa. aa 

Published b} Messi^. FORES, 4i, PICCADILLY, W* 





(Ajs Qtsed in tho Rojal 




^ estonian 
' Cream 


Ciinntfl be equalled 
far Hen<yv3iiniE &N 





The bfic [or CleAnmi; 
tod Pn fibbing RuMMn 
And Btdvii Lntlier 

ULiltlCHC ^ 



PotiiiAn Poliaih, 

far Vuisishlni 

Vol24N?95 September 1907. 




By b. In SKI I' HAtthrso^ 

By Cutroma CEJf<t>L)tv 

By F(p*cii Ma?on, 

Uy Alls* M. V, Wvw-rMi* 


By CtiTHBRUT B(tAlltfc%' 

By J. R. RuiiRltTN 

By "SIaMjshMi^h.'* 

By F B Cuofcft. 

Hf Mm Lilian BL<%Nt>> 

Uy F. C U 


By G. H. Jalla1«d. 





Published Quarterlv uv 
SiwpKiN Marshall. &C9 


Wine Merchants. 




BordMOX 14/- and 18/- 

St. Julim GlaMt 19/ 24/ 30/ ,, 36/ 

GUMt of Ghoioe Growths 42/ 48/ 60/ ,, 72/ 

White Bordoaux 20/24/ 30/ 86/ ., 48/ 

Burgundy (Red) 20/ 24/ 30/ 36/ 48/ ,, 60/- 

Ghablis 20/ 24/ 30/ 36/ ., 48/ 

Hook and MomIIo 20/ 24/ 30/ 36/ ,. 48/- 

GhoiooHook 60/ 72/ 84/ ,,120/- 

Sparklintf Ghampatfno ... 48/ 60/ 72/- ,, 84/ 

Palo and Ooldon Shorry... 20/ 24/ 30/ 36/ ,, 42/ 

Ghoioo DoMort Shorry . . 48/ 60/ ,, 72/- 

Port from Wood 24/ 30/ 36/ „ 42/- 

Raro Old Port 48/60/ 72/ 84/- ., 06/- 

Old Sootoh Whisky ... 42/ 48/ 54/ 60/- ,, 121- 

OLD PAI-B BRAKDY . . J "/ «>/ "/ «/ »«/ 

( 120/- 144/- 180/ 240/- 

A Large Assortment of Wines in Octaves, Quarters, Hogsheads, Butts 
and Pipes, always on Scantling, in brilliant condition. 


Wino Morchants by Appointmoiit to 




London (Hoad Offfficas and Callars) : 



Tho Arcada. | 30 King's Raad. 


Vol24 N?96 December 1907. 


By C C. 

S:;trav notes on racing and 

By "Joiifr 0*Gaunt," 


By '*SKAKrLK/' 


By **Ka5T StiSSBX." 

By Alit* M, V. WvNTEK. 

By **Dm<joon,** 

Uy " Foot I" A Ij/* 

By C, H. jAtt^Kix 

By J. R. RoiiitRTS. 

By F. If«stftp HAttftfsoft, 


By MiM t.. Bland. 


Published Quarteruv by 

Mess«?Fores4I Piccadilly. London. 
SiMPKiN Marshall & Co 



(Establlslisd 4mnumry, 1800 ; R«comtltiit«d Janrarjf ^ 180ft) 

//, as its name implies^ a Chronicle of 


// is the only Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine 
in existence, and contains Reproductions from the ' 

Old llMtort, Photographs, Palntlngo and Drawbigs of aoino 
of ths boot Naval and Military Artlsto of tho day, 

And the only Publication that gives 
'under one cover a 

Complsto Ust of ths Roglmonts of tho British and Indian 

Armlos and Ships of tho Royal Navy, with thoir 

rospooUvo Stations. 

other features include, Leading Articles on the *' Army and Navy Month by 
Month ' ; Items of General and Personal Intelligence, a Diary of Coming 
Events ii^ the Two Services, Reviews of Service Books, Notes on Novelties, 

and a variety of useful and interesting information. 

The Army and Navy Chronicle is published on the 15th of each month, 

or on the 14th should the 15th fall on a Sunday. 

A FULL-PACE PICTURE, printod on Plats Papor, of a NAVAL or 


SKETCH, is ghfsn aw^f with saoh numbor. 

The a. & N.C. can bt ordered through amy Newsagent, or will be sent direct Jrom 
thi Office if required. 

SUBSCRIPTIONS, which can commence with any number, 
8s. 6d. per annum, post free. 

A Specimen Copy, Scale of Charges for Advertisements, &c., will be 
sent on receipt of 2)^. in stamps to cover postage, on application to — 



111 Jormyn Stroot, St. Jamos's, London, t»W. 

All oommiiBloatloiia rMpeotlng AdvartlaamttnU for FORBB'S SPORTIHO 
MOTB8 AND 8KBTGHBS ahould Im addTMsed to 

H. S. THRUPP, 122 Fleet Street, London, E.G. 

TttUphontt No. 8707 CENTRAL. 





* •^-^^ 



A. C. Havell. 
Size 15 X 12 inches. Price 2Is. 

Uniform in size and price are ptjrtraits of ORHV, SPEARMINT, CICKRO, 


Facsimile in Colours from the Original Sketch by Harrington Swan. 
Size, 14 X lo} inches. Price £1 Is. 



^ TUB 

" QUNDRADA, I^H B^gBJgl lllfl^jjBil/ No. 4Tie 

LONDON.** (UBBPi^^li SFSflgr i y^ rr i l" J ■ # ^ QERRARD. 

against Death 
from Accident or Disease. 


REVISED PROSPECTUS (Season 1907-8) on 


Horse Department :-~ 





Vol. XXIV. No. 96. DECEMBER, 1907. Price 2«. 




With two Illustrations after Jas. Pollard, viz., The G,P,0, with 
Mail Coaches^ and The * Quicksilver^ Royal Mail, 


0*Gaunt* 237 

ODD PACKS— AND FACTS. By 'Snaffle' .... 241 

A MATCH. By Clifford Cordley 248 

With two Illustrations by Miss Dorothy Hardy, viz., ^ He had 
only three proper fallSy and * Ifs a drawn maich^you see J 

POETS AND PARTRIDGES. By * East Sussex ' . . .255 

HUNTERS. By Miss M. V. Wynter 260 

A FAMOUS RIDING MASTER. By* Dragoon'. . .269 

HUNTING THE OTTER. By *Footpad' 27s 


With two Illustrations by the Author, viz., * // was so absurdly 
cheapo and * Swallow a considerable proportion^ 6r*c. 

SALMON STUDIES. By J. R. Roberts 287 

Harrison 294 

THE MAN ON THE GREY. By Miss Lilian Bland . . .299 

With two Illustrations by Miss Dorothy Hardy, viz., ^No doubt 
about my getting a start* and * / nez^er saw the little ware carry 
you better: 




TM. lHM>fc i. «.d«r no «Mu«,«.„e., to b« 
(•li«a (roo ibc Bntldifia 





1 ^" 


r*if w 4ti 




Established 1878. 

Oarrlare, Saddlo, Farm, 4b Trade Horses, Hunters, db Btalllons 

Insured against Beatli flrom iusoldent or Blsease ( 

Mares for Foallnr and Xioss of Foals. 

CLAIMS PAID £860,000. 

Hunters' Prospectus and full particuUin post frtte on application. 
A^*Hts Required, B. S. ESSEX, Manager, 


Finch Mason's Sporting SIcetclies. 

Hand Coloured frum his Original Drawings. Size, 14x10 inches. 
Price 15ff. each. 

P^rtsman (In brown)— 'Sjre to come across some 
woodcock, eh ? Then mind you fellows |don't 
take me for one I * 

Mrs. Amazon's Husoand— *l say, Mabel, you really 
must be more careful ; you've shot General 
Chorks, and he's furious.' 

* Silly man, why didn't he sret out of the way ? ' 

The New Laird— * Yes, I wear a kilt, not so much 
for comfort or for my own personal adornment, 
but because I consider it a dooty I owe to my 
chin dontcberknow ! ' 

Clipping: from the Cataloirue, Lot la. Hlsrhland 
Ftlnir.— * An Invaluable pony for the Moors, the 
property of Mr. Smithers (of London), who shot 
off him last season.' 

Published by MESSRS. FORES, 41 PICCADILLY, W. 


ThousMids of kcM SpoftMnen will answer ai above, and they will be riglit. 



1 he famou> formula thought out by the versatile author of Booties Bahy when at 44 she had 
1km.. )me nearly IttUi. 1 1 grew her a magnificeni head of hair, and she was soon overwhelmed with 
interestetl iiu|uirie>, which she could only meet without loss herself by placing it on sale, keeping it 
uiuler her oun control. She is proud to send particulars and adviccyrrtf 0/ cost to all who wish to 
save their liair and avert baldness. 

\\ 'rite to-day ami adtiress yo%tr inquiry to 

JOHK 8TBANOB WINTER, 1« Waat Kanalngton Manaiona, liOndon, VT. 

At all chemists, ^/V per bottle ; post free direct, 9/8* 



The First of November. 

Breaking Cover. 

Up a Tree. The End of a Good Day. 

A limited issue of Hand-coloured Proofs, signed by tlie artist 

Price £8 8s. the Set. 

Size, exclusive of margin, 2OX13J inches.